Australia comprises the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and many smaller islands.
Covering a total area of 7.69 million square kilometres, mainland Australia is the world’s largest island. In distance, the continent stretches about 3700 kilometres from north to south and 4000 kilometres from east to west, making it the sixth-largest nation after Russia, Canada, China, the United States and Brazil.
Australia is divided into six states and two territories. Canberra is the national capital and the centre of government and is located approximately 290 kilometres south of Sydney in the Australian Capital Territory. New South Wales is Australia’s oldest and most populated state, Victoria is the smallest of the mainland states in size but the second most populated, Queensland is Australia’s second-largest state in size, South Australia is a state in the southern central part of the country which covers some of the most arid parts of the continent, Western Australia is Australia’s largest state by area and Tasmania is separated from mainland Australia by Bass Strait and is the smallest state in Australia.
Australia currently has a population of almost 23 million people.