Australia is a country of striking landscapes, a rich ancient culture and one of the world's strongest economies. It is the sixth-largest country in land area and is the only nation to govern an entire continent.
With a spectacular natural environment, high quality of life and great diversity, Australia is a sought after destination for international tourists. It has 10 per cent of the world's biodiversity and a great number of its native plants and animals exist nowhere else on earth. From tropical rainforests in the north to the red deserts of the centre, from the snowfields of the south-east to the Australian Antarctic Territory, it is a vast and varied land. Australia has many World Heritage sites including the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the Sydney Opera House.
Australia is home to one of the world's oldest living cultures, with Aboriginal communities established nearly 60,000 years before European settlement. Today, Australia is one of the world's most multicultural countries, rich in Indigenous and immigrant cultures. For more information about the people of Australia, see the Population page and the Indigenous Australia page on the DFAT website.
Australia is a successful and prosperous nation, ranked second in the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report 2014.
Australia's economy is consistently ranked among the strongest of advanced economies in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. It is the world's twelfth largest economy and a top performing nation on almost every measure of excellence, from health to wealth, from ease of doing business to educational attainment. For more information about Australia's economy, see the economy page on the DFAT website.
With low unemployment, low inflation and a highly skilled workforce, and with strong links with the fastest-growing region in the world, the Indo-Pacific, Australia's economy is set to prosper well into the future.
Australia is a nation of boundless opportunity in a country of endless potential—a nation that is 'open for business'.
Australia's foreign and trade policy promotes its security and long-term prosperity. It seeks to protect and advance its national interests in a rapidly changing environment, while supporting a stable global order. Australia has been integrally involved in global efforts to build peace and security for decades, just as it has in promoting global trade and investment liberalisation. Australia is a good international citizen, helping in times of crisis and supporting economic development in its region. For more information about Australia's foreign and trade policy, see the Looking Outward page on the DFAT website.
For information about the natural environment and landscape of Australia, see the land and its people page on the DFAT website.
Updated 16 December 2015