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Is Australia country and continent at the same time?

Question by Guest | 03/10/2016 at 08:46

As far as I know, each continent is usually consisting of several countries. Is Australia an exception? How can it be that Australia is an independent country as well as a continent?

Or is it with Australia the same like it is with cities such as Berlin or Hamburg that are a city as well as a federal state?

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First of all, there is the continent Australia and then there is the country Australia. This means, even if continent and country have the same name, it can nevertheless be something different. It is similar to the USA which are colloquially often designated as America, although the continent America also comprises other countries.

However, it is a bit more difficult with Australia, because as far as I know, there is no official border defining what is belonging to the continent Australia and what not.

Let us take the independent country New Zealand as an example. New Zealand is to no other continent closer as to the continent Australia. Nevertheless, depending on the source, New Zealand is sometimes counted to the continent Australia, sometimes to Oceania or even to "Australia and Oceania". Also countries like Papua New Guinea or Indonesia share the same fate.

So, depending on what definition you believe, the continent Australia is either only consisting of the country Australia (the large mainland mass) or you also include the more or less large island would around it.
03/10/2016 at 17:00

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