The official Australian flag was designed in 1901 when Australia became an independent nation. There is also wide recognition of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander emblems, which are also proclaimed as Flags of Australia. There is also an official design for the Australian Defence Force. The national anthem is called 'Advance Australia Fair'. Australia's national colours are green and gold, the floral emblem is the golden wattle (Latin name Acacia pycnantha Benth) and the gemstone is the opal.
Australia is a land of contrasts: sweeping golden beaches, coral reefs rich with marine life, tropical rainforests, mountain ranges, vast grazing lands and sparse deserts.
One of the oldest continents, Australia is as wide as the distance from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei and as long as the distance from Singapore to Manila . It is the only country to occupy an entire continent.
Surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans , Australia has many animals and plants, which are unique on the planet. The surface geology is typically old and flat.