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OFFICIAL NAME : The Commonwealth of Australia CAPITAL: Canberra TOTAL AREA: 7.7 mln square kilometres POPULATION: nearly 20 million people NATIVE PEOPLE: Aborigines HEAD OF STATE: Queen Elizabeth II (formally) FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Federation ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISION: 6 states & 2 territories MAIN CITIES: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth LONGEST RIVER: the Darling (2,740 km) HIGHEST POINT: Mount Kosciusko (2,340 m) NATURAL RESOURCES: coal, zink, nickel, gold NATIONAL SYMBOLS: kangaroo and emu NATIONAL HOLIDAY: Australian Day , 26 January CURRENCY: Australian dollar
Australia is situated south of Asia, between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. Australia is a continent, a country and an island at the same time. It is located in the Southern Hemisphere.
It is supposed that Australia’s native inhabitants, the Aborigines, arrived in Australia at least 40,000 years ago. The first Europeans visited the shores of Australia in 1606.
Abel Tasman, Dutch navigator, visited Tasmania in 1642. Later, Captain James Cook was sent to discover the huge land that many people believed was south of the equator. In 1770 he landed south of present day Sydney in New South Wales, raised the British flag and claimed this part of the land as a British Colony. In 1851 gold was discovered about 300 km west of Sydney. People rushed to the gold fields to find their fortunes. This attracted robbers called bushrangers.
A distinctive Australian flora and fauna is reflected in the country’s coat-of-arms by the symbols of Australia’s native animals and plants: the kangaroo, the emu and a twig of wattle. Australia is sometimes called “The Land of Wattle” or “Kangarooland”. Australian national flag consists of five white stars of the Southern Cross and the large seven-pointed Commonwealth star (which represents the six states and the Territories) on a blue background with a Union Jack. The small Union Jack represents the historical link with Britain.
Canberra is the capital of Australia. It is a very young city. The population is about 310,000 people. Capitol Hill Canberra Fountain
Capital of New South Wales. Leading industrial city. Population: 3,200,000 people. St. Maria’s Cathedral The Harbour Bridge Sydney Sydney AMP Tower Opera House
Capital of Victoria. The world’s most livable city. Population: 3,200,000 Melbourne Bridge Old House Train Station
Capital of Queensland. It is a year-round vocation place. The population is about 1,400,000 people. Brisbane Bridge Brisbane Skyscrapers Brisbane
Capital of South Australia. A pretty and industrial city. Population: 1,100,000 people. Gold Beach Adelaide Victoria Square Fountain
Capital of Western Australia. One of the best climates in Australia. Population: 1,200,000 people. Perth Skyscrapers King’s Park
Capital of island-state Tasmania. Winters are very cold. Population of about 200,000. Bay of Fires Coles Bay Remarkable Cave Lavender Farm
Warumbungle NP Crowdy Bay NP Crowdy Bay NP Cockatoo NP
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the natural wonders of the world. It runs along the east coast of Queensland for about 2,000 km. It’s the world’s largest coral reef and home to thousands of multicoloured fish and 350 species of corals.
Australians really love nature. They try to protect their nature and their animals. Australia’s best-known animals and birds are the kangaroo, koala, dingo, wombat, opossum, platypus, emu, lyrebird, etc.
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