NASA photo from space of Australia's Capital Cities at night
A lot of visitors to Australia are surprised by how big the country really is. It's actually the sixth largest country in the world and has a land mass very similar to that of the mainland of the USA. Australia covers over 7,600,000 square kilometres while the USA covers just over 7,800,000 square kilometres.
Due to it's size the country has many varied climate regions similar to the USA, from deserts to snow capped mountains and tropical rainforests.
There are eight capital cities in Australia, all of which function at a sub-national level. Canberra also serves as the national capital. Melbourne was the national capital from the Federation of Australia in 1901 until 1927, when the seat of national government was moved to the newly created city of Canberra.
In each capital city, local judicial, administrative and legislative duties are performed for the jurisdiction. In the case of state and territory capital cities, they also happen to be the most populous city in their respective jurisdiction.
CANBERRA ( Australian Capital Territory )
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall.
SYDNEY ( New South Wales )
Sydney is the largest and most populous city in Australia with a population of approx 4,575,000 and is the state capital of New South Wales.
MELBOURNE ( Victoria )
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia after Sydney, with approx 4,077,000.
BRISBANE ( Queensland )
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million.
ADELAIDE ( South Australia )
Adelaide is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of South Australia, and is the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.28 million
PERTH ( Western Australia )
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of 1,700,000.
DARWIN ( Northern Territory )
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of 124,800, making it by far the largest and most populated city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities.
HOBART ( Tasmania )
Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney. In 2009, the city had a greater area population of approximately 212,000.