Australia is massive, and sparsely populated: in size, it rivals the USA, yet its population is just under 22 million. It is an ancient land, and often looks it: much of central and western Australia – the bulk of the country – is overwhelmingly arid and flat. In contrast, its cities, most founded as recently as the mid-nineteenth century, express a vibrant, youthful energy. The most memorable scenery is in the Outback, the vast desert in the interior of the country west of the Great Dividing Range. Here, vivid blue skies, cinnamon-red earth, deserted gorges and other striking geological features…