Although on maps Australia might seem small, it is actually the sixth-largest country by total area. A flight from the east coast to the west coast would take around five hours. However, it actually has a surprisingly low population, only 26 million, of which, almost everything is heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Cities normally gather on the coasts since in the middle of the island there is pretty much nothing.

A bit of History

Aboriginals first arrived to Australia between 50.000 and 65.000 years ago from Southeast Asia. The first Torres Strait Islanders, that are ethnically distinct from Aboriginal Australians, arrived from what is now Papua New Guinea around 2,500 years ago. They lived all around the continent until the early 1600’s when Dutch and Spanish explores arrived to the island naming it New Holland. The first British Fleet arrived to Botany Bay (now Sydney) in 1788 to establish the first colony (a penal colony) in the continent. During the next century, British and European explorers started to progress towards inland territories reducing the number of Indigenous Australians due to conflicts and diseases.
Australia as we know now, the modern Australia, was born in 1901 after a referendum by the six British colonies voting for a unification in a federation and forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Since then the population of Australia has been increasing greatly.
Now, Australia is a highly developed country, with the world’s twelfth-largest economy and with the world’s tenth-highest per capita income.

1. Language:

Surprisingly, Australia has no official language. Legally… At home, English is the only spoken language for 72% of the population. There are many indigenous languages and since the arrival of migrants it also exists small percentages of foreign languages. But with English you will be more than fine.

2. Currency:

Australia’s national currency is the Australian dollar (AUD). You will find it in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes and in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents coins. You can check exchange rates with XE Currency Converter.

3. Weather:

It’s imposible to determine a single weather in Australia since the country is too big. We can say that much of the northern part of the country has a tropical, predominantly summer-rainfall (monsoon).The south-west corner has a Mediterranean climate.The south-east ranges from oceanic to humid subtropical, with the highlands featuring alpine and sub polar oceanic climates. The interior is arid to semi-arid. So if you are planning to be moving around Australia have in mind that weather will be changing from one place to another. On top of that, be aware that compared to Europe and North America  seasons are different, meaning that if in Europe is winter, in Australia it will be summer and vice versa. 
You can check the current weather forecast here.

4. Visas:

There are numerous types of visas in order to start your Australian adventure. It always depends on what you are looking for.
Visitor Visa: only for tourism purposes. This visa will grant you up to 12 months stay depending on what class you apply to or wether you apply from abroad or within the country, or even through the free and online option eVisitor. Important to know that you will not be able to work under this visa. Prices go from free up to AUD1085.
Student Visa: if you are planning to study in Australia, this is the visa you should be looking for. You can stay up to 5 years and work up to 40 hours in a 2-week period. The type of course and its length will determine the length of stay. You can apply both from in and outside of Australia, and once granted you are allowed to travel around and outside the country. The cost of the visa is AUD630 unless you are exempt.
Working Holiday Visa: there are two subclasses of this visa, but both have the same requirements except for a few differences. The most important requirements are that you must be 18 to 30 years old (inclusive) – except for Canadian, French and Irish citizens up to 35 (inclusive) / Must have a passport from an eligible country / Must not be accompanied by dependent children. You can stay up to 12 months and it will cost you AUD495.
Please, have a look at this complete guide of Working Holiday Visa for more detailed information.

5. Time:

Australia can reach up to 5 different time zones during the periods of daylight saving.
State/TerritoryStandard TimeDaylight Saving Time
Western AustraliaUTC +8N/A
South AustraliaUTC +9.5UTC +10.5
Northern TerritoryUTC +9.5N/A
QueenslandUTC +10N/A
NSW, Victoria, TasmaniaUTC +10UTC +11