Australia is divided into 6 states and 2 territories (Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory). European settlement began at the end of the 18th century after England lost the American colonies. Aborigianal Australians are one of the oldest continuous civilizations on Earth and have roots traced to 65,000-70,000 years ago. Australia remained a British colony until independence in 1901 and is a member of the British Commonwealth to this day.
The land down under: best known for it's kangaroos, beautiful white beaches, crocodiles, and basically everything land and sea that wants to kill you. Australia has every landscape you could hope for (and plenty you haven't imagined yet!) and heaps of endemic species, but due to it's vast size it is nearly impossible to see the whole country in one visit. Pick the scenery and activities that most interest you and focus your attention there.