Australia is both continent and country, one of the most sparsely populated nations on the planet with a population of about 18,000,000 spread out over the sixth largest national landmass on Earth. This is a place of stark contrasts: the bustling, brimming cities like Sydney and Brisbane, the popular beaches along the Gold Coast, such as Surfers Paradise Beach, and then the sheer loneliness of the outback, with its underground mining towns and remote Alice Springs.

With coasts on all sides, and a large island (Tasmania) as its southernmost state, Australia is a beach haven. Located in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s climate runs from more temperate in the south to hotter and tropical in the north. Its Indian Ocean beaches on the west coast are quite different from its Pacific Ocean beaches on the east; the same is true for its northern and southern beaches, the latter situated on the aptly named Southern Ocean.

Big beach business in Australia is mostly happening in the State of Queensland, on the southern portion of the east coast. The Gold Coast region has become home to a huge influx of retirees and an equal number of young people for weekend parties and week-long beach holidays; the factions do not seem to clash.

Western Australia’s north shore is the location of Eighty Mile Beach, one of the longest beaches in the world, backed by the vast Great Sandy Desert. Australia has its share of large inland freshwater lakes, too, despite the fact that much of the interior is desert. South Australia and Western Australia have a good collection of lakes, many of those with decent beaches.

One of the famous features of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef off the northern coast of Queensland and serviced by the city of Cairns airport, is a beach bonus like almost no other. The reef stretches from Cape York in the north and runs parallel to the east coast as far south as Gladstone. It is a world apart and yet within, an incredible place to explore and learn; it adds a superb dimension to a beach holiday.

Australia remains a member of the British Commonwealth, like Canada and New Zealand, despite efforts to become a republic, and its main language is English. It is politically stable, and rich with wildlife found only on the Australian continent. Its beaches are pure perfection.

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