Australia is a big country and continent. It is almost as large as the United States of America. It takes 5 hours to fly from Brisbane to Perth, that is east to west, and north to south, over 5 hours to fly from Darwin to Hobart.
When R's late parents visited us, they were told they had crossed the Australian coast line, and so began to get their things together to before the plane landed. They had crossed the northern coast of Australia and it was still five hours before they could set foot on Australia.
This map clearly shows the states of Australia, with me being in Melbourne, Victoria, right down near the bottom. The Tropic of Capricorn runs through Queensland near Bundaberg across to below where the Ashburton River is marked in the west, so the climate is very varied from tropical in the far north to much cooler in the south. Much of the interior land is desert and cannot support many humans. We cling to the coastline.
Within mainland Australia are also two Territories, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory. The administration is somewhat similar to the states, but they don't have Premiers, rather Chief Ministers. The ACT, within the state of New South Wales, encompasses the capital city of Canberra, the seat of our Federal Government.
Within the states are smaller local government areas, usually called Cities or Shires.
So we have three levels of government, Federal, State and Local and I recently heard that we are the most urbanised country in the world.