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Australia is a continent and a country. It is a place where the modern world sidles up aside raw, unfettered natural history. Endless red desert. Impassable rainforest. Sea gardens big enough to see from space. And, isolated from other landscapes, Australian wildlife has taken unique shape. Here resides an astonishing array of bizarre, often venomous creatures from platypuses to box jellies, special birds like cassowaries, emus, kiwis and kookaburras, and all those famous marsupials—kangaroos to koalas. I have dreamed of visiting this place since I was a little girl, and its wonders captured me fully when at last I arrived.