Australia is a vast land of immense natural beauty, climatic extremes, unique flora and fauna, cosmopolitan cities, coral reefs, arid desert-scapes, ancient rocks, tropical and temperate forests, and some of the most stunning and least spoiled coastline to be found anywhere. Its natural splendour is complemented by friendly laid back people, excellent cuisine, and a very civilized approach to having fun.
It is surprising perhaps, given all this fantastic topography, that over 85% live the Australian Dream near the coast - this is the most suburban country on earth. Although agriculture and mining are still important, tourism, leisure and construction are also big business. The influx of immigrants since the 2nd World War, firstly from the Mediterranean countries and more recently from Asia (23% of Australians are foreign born), has resulted in a very multi-cultural population. The colonial legacy, while still evident, has been outstripped culturally and socially as the country grows in self-identity. The national obsession with sport is well known, as is the relaxed lifestyle and good humour. Now a player on the global stage in terms of the arts, performance, entrepeneurial activity as well as sport, this is a confident and exuberant society. Not for nothing is Australia known as the Lucky Country.