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Australia is both a country and also a continent, such is its size. It is surrounded by the Indian, Southern and Pacific oceans, near Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.
Much of Australia is flat and dry. The south-east and south-west have a temperate climate. Most people live on the south-eastern coastline. The north of Australia is tropical. In the north, every day is summer!
Aboriginal people were the earliest inhabitants of Australia. Today, most people in Australia are descended from British or Irish immigrants. There have also been many other immigrants from countries such as New Zealand, Italy, Vietnam, China and Greece.
Australia's flora and fauna is diverse and often unique. Famous native animals include the platypus, echidna, kangaroo, koala, wombat, emu and kookaburra.
The climate suits outdoor activities; sports are popular, and Australia also has cultural strengths for example in visual and performing arts. Australia's culture reflects aspects of indigenous Australian culture, British and Irish traditions, and more recently has been influenced by other cultures now part of its vibrant multicultural mix.
Numerous airlines fly to Australia and often have excellent deals: EVA Airlines, Garuda Indonesia Airlines, Gulf Air, Japan Air Lines, Malaysian Airlines, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, United Airlines, Air China, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Air Canada, Delta Airlines, and Emirates, for example.
In Sydney, the average maximum temperature is about 16°C (60°F) in winter (June-August) and 26°C (78°F) in summer (December-February). The average minimum temperature is from 8°C (46°F) to 18.5°C (65°F).
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