Australia is the only country in the world that covers an entire continent. It is one of the largest countries on Earth. Although it is rich in natural resources and has a lot of fertile land, more than one-third of Australia is desert.
Sorrounded by Indian and Pacific Ocean, most of the Australian cities and farms are located in the southwest and southeast, where the climate is more comfortable. There are dense rain forest in the northeast. The famous outback (remote rural areas) contains the country’s largest deserts, where there are scorching temperatures, little water, and almost no vegetation.
Running around the eastern and southeastern edge of Australia is the Great Dividing Range. This 2,300 mile (3,700 kilometer) stretch of mountains sends water down into Australia’s most important rivers and Great Artesian Bain, the largest groundwater source in the world.
Australia has 37 government-funded universities and two private universities, as well as a number of other specialist institutions that provide approved courses at the higher education level. The University of Sydney is Australia’s oldest university, having been founded in 1850, followed by the University of Melbourne three years later. Other notable universities include those of the Group of Eigh leading tertiary institutions, including the University of Adelaide, the Australian National University located in the national capital of Canberra. Monash University and University of New South Wales.