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The northernmost point of the east coast is the tropical-rainforested Cape York Peninsula.
At the north-west corner of the continent are the sandstone cliffs and gorges of The Kimberley, and below that the Pilbara.
At 2,228 metres (7,310 ft), Mount Kosciuszko on the Great Dividing Range is the highest mountain on the Australian mainland.
After World War II Australia encouraged immigration from mainland Europe.
Since the 1970s and following the abolition of the White Australia policy, immigration from Asia and elsewhere was also promoted.
The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east.
Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest urban area is Sydney.