Australia is situated on the island continent. It also occupies the Island of Tasmania and some minor islands round the coast of the continent. Its area is about 8 million km2. It is the only state in the world that occupies the territory of a whole continent. Almost one half of Australian territory is occupied by deserts and semideserts. The capital of Australia is Canberra. The official language of Australia is English, because from 1787 to 1867 Australia was a place where criminals were sent from Britain.
Australia is one of the most unusual and exotic countries of the world. A significant feature of modern Australian society is the representation of a lot of cultures drawn from many lands by its people.