The Commonwealth of Australia is a country in the southern hemisphere comprising the mainland of the world's smallest continent, the major island of Tasmania and a number of other islands in the Southern, Indian and Pacific Oceans. The neighbouring countries are Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east.
The Australian mainland has been inhabited for more than 42,000 years by Indigenous Australians. After sporadic visits by fishermen from the north and by European explorers and merchants starting in the 17th century, the eastern half of Australia was claimed by the British in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation as part of the colony of New South Wales on 26 January 1788. As the population grew and new areas were explored, another five largely self-governing Crown Colonies were established during the 19th century.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies became a federation, and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Since federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system and remains a Commonwealth Realm. The capital city is Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory. The population is 21 million, and is concentrated in the mainland state capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. from WikiPedia
The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia. The capital city is Darwin; the other two sizable settlements are Alice Springs (in the desert interior, 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) to the south) and Katherine (near the base of the Top End). Residents of the Northern Territory are often known simply as 'Territorians'.
The Northern Territory is also home to two spectacular natural rock formations, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), which are sacred to the local Aboriginal peoples and which have become major tourist attractions.
In the northern part of the territory lies Kakadu National Park, which features breathtaking wetlands and native wildlife. To the north of that lies the Arafura Sea, and to the east lies Arnhem Land, whose regional centre is Maningrida on the Liverpool River delta. from [WikiPedia
South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent and with a total land area of 984,377 square kilometres (380,070 sq mi), it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories. It is bordered to the west by Western Australia, to the north by the Northern Territory and Queensland, to the east by Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and along the south by the Great Australian Bight and the Indian Ocean. With 1.5 million people, the state comprises less than 10 per cent of the Australian population and ranks fifth in population among the states and territories. The majority of its people reside in the state capital, Adelaide, with most of the remainder settled in fertile areas along the south-eastern coast and River Murray. from [WikiPedia
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern corner of the mainland continent. It is neighboured by the Northern Territory to the west, South Australia to the south-west and New South Wales to the south. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. The state is Australia's second largest by area, following Western Australia, and the country's third most populous after New South Wales and Victoria. from [WikiPedia
Victoria is a state located in the south-eastern corner of Australia. It is the smallest mainland state in area, but the most densely populated and urbanised. Victoria began in the 1830s as a farming community. The discovery of gold in 1851 transformed it into a leading industrial and commercial centre. Victoria is the second most populous Australian state, after New South Wales, with an estimated population of 5,037,700 as at September 2005. Melbourne is Victoria's capital and largest city, with more than 70% of all Victorians living there. from [WikiPedia
New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is Australia's most populous state, located in the south-east of the country, north of Victoria and south of Queensland. It was founded in 1788 and originally comprised much of the Australian mainland, as well as New Zealand, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. During the 19th century large areas were successively separated to form the British colonies of Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New Zealand.
An inhabitant of New South Wales is referred to as a New South Welshman. New South Wales' largest city and capital is Sydney. from [WikiPedia]