Welcome to Australia...

 

Continent

The Continent of Australia comprises a total land mass of about 7.692 million square kilometers.

Although this is just five per cent of the world’s land mass, Australia is the sixth largest country after Russia, Canada, China, the United States of America and Brazil. It is also the only one of the largest six nations that is surrounded by the ocean!

Geography

Australia is the smallest of the world’s continents.

It is also known to be the lowest and flattest landform region, apart from Antartica. Mount Kosciuszko is the highest point on the mainland, located at New South Wales, 2228 metres above sea level. While, the dry bed of Lake Eyre is recognized as the lowest point, located at South Australia, 15 metres below sea level. Nonetheless, about 20 per cent of Australia land mass is classified as desert.

The Australian mainland and Tasmania are are surrounded by over eight thousands of islands within its maritime borders. Approximately 40 per cent of island coastlines contribute to the total coastline length. As an island nation, coastlines play an important role in defining national, state and territory boundaries.

 

Climate

Rainfall in Australia is highly variable with low average annual rainfall over most of the continent. The rainfall pattern is concentric across the extensive arid core of the continent, with intense seasonal rainfall in the tropics and some coastal areas.

Climatic zones range from tropical rainforests, deserts, and cool temperature forests to snow covered mountains.

Our plants and animals have evolved on a geographically isolated niche, over a time of a gradually drying climate, combined with persisting high variability. Thus, the uniqueness of Australian flora and fauna is partly due of our isolated climatic features.

Any day, anywhere you will find the right climate conditions that will make your Australian experience unique and memorable.

The Australian summer (December to February) is usually warm and sunny and you can enjoy lazy days on the beach and typical Aussie meals cooked on the barbecue. Summer is the rainy season in our tropical regions in the north that brings our lush rainforests to life. Spring and autumn are mild and are the best seasons for bush walks and discovering nature.

The Australian winter (June to August) is generally mild, but offers snow on the snow fields in the southern mountain regions. At the same time our northern states have balmy 24 degrees Celsius temperatures.

It is important for all to look out for UV Index levels in local weather forecasts. It is best to be sun smart and take care enjoying the great outdoors. Sunscreen containing SPF30+ coverage is recommended.

 

Time Zones

Australia is the world’s sixth largest country with a land mass of approximately 7.7 million square kilometres. Hence, it is divided into three separate time zones.

Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
Applies to the eastern states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. AEST is equivalent to Universal Time Coordinator plus 10 hours (UTC +10).

Australian Central Standard Time (ACST)
Applies to the state of South Australia, western New South Wales (Broken Hill) and the Northern Territory. ACST is equivalent to Universal Time Coordinator plus 9 ½ hours (UTC +9 ½).

Australian Western Standard Time (AWST)
Applies to Western Australia. AWST is equivalent to Universal Time Coordinator plus 8 hours (UTC +8).

Daylight Saving
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of advancing clocks one hour during the warmer months of the year. In Australia, Daylight saving is observed in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory.

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2am on the first Sunday in October, when clocks are put forward one hour. It ends at 0200hr (0300hr DST) on the first Sunday in April, when clocks are put back one hour.

Where Daylight saving is observed:

NSW, ACT, VIC and TAS shift from AEST to Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT), and clocks are expedited to UTC +11.
SA and the western NSW (Broken Hill) shift from ACST to Australian Central Daylight Time (ACDT), and clocks are expedited to UTC +10 ½.
Daylight saving is not observed in WA, QLD, and the NT.