Sandwiched between Queensland and Victoria on Australia's eastern seaboard, New South Wales is known for its diversity of landscape and attractions, ranging from outback to city, rugged mountains to sheltered harbours, subtropical rainforests to expansive sandy beaches. Sydney, its capital city, was the first European settlement in Australia, thus the story of the founding of the city of Sydney is in fact the story of the founding of modern Australia.
Victoria has a wide diversity of landscapes which cover the whole gamut of the Australian experience - it has everything from semi arid desert areas to rugged coastal cliffs, lush farmlands, alpine ski resorts, historic goldmining towns and river gum forests. Located in the south east region of the Australian mainland, Victoria is the smallest of the mainland states in area but the second most populous and the most densely populated. Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is Australia's second largest city.
Queensland is known as Australia's Sunshine State. Queensland offers a great diversity of holiday and touring opportunities, with the Great Barrier Reef, tropical islands, rainforest and wilderness, open sandy beaches, and the vast outback, as well as the sophisticated attractions of Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
Sitting just 240 kilometres south-east of mainland Australia, Tasmania has long had the nickname Apple Isle due to the large amount of fruit grown there. In Tasmania, you are never far from water and mountains - it has more than 1,000 mountain peaks. More than 40 per cent of the island is protected as national parks and reserves, which are home to some of the world's rarest animals.
South Australia is the fifth largest state in Australia with a population of 1.4 million. It is home to long summers, stunning beaches and award-winning wine, events and festivals. The gateway to the Barossa, Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island, South Australia has the easiest access to the Australian outback of any state. Adelaide, a place of natural beauty and simple elegance, is the capital city of South Australia.
Western Australia is the largest state, covering the western most third of the mainland, bordering South Australia and the Northern Territory. A range of experiences, from wilderness adventures in the arid outback or diving on coral reefs, to fine dining in world-class restaurants or a night at a casino, attract a wide variety of visitors.
Largely tropical, the Northern Territory covers about one sixth of the Australian continent with an area of 1.35 million km2 which is equal to the combined areas of France, Spain and Italy. It is an area of great diversity, from lush tropical rainforest in the north to the ancient semi-arid plains and deserts of the Red Centre.
The Australian Capital Territory is the site of Canberra, Australia's capital city. As well as the seat of Government for the Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra has been developed as a celebration of and salute to Australia's culture, its unique natural features and its notable sons and daughters.