Téma: Australia and New Zealand
Australia is an insular state and also the world’s smallest continent. It is surrounded by Indian Ocean on the West and by Pacific Ocean on the East. As its neighbours across the sea we could call the islands Indonesia, Papua New Guinea or New Zealand. Australia as well is a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, with Queen Elizabeth II. as head of the state, with Governor-General as her representant. There is a federal government that works like a democratic system. The Australian flag consists of the British Union jack in the upper left corner. Under the Union jack there is seven pointed star known as the Commonwealth star. In the right part of the flag there is the Southern Cross constellation (white stars). It all is on a dark blue background.
Australia was discovered by European explorers, the most famous one is James Cook, who landed on the eastern coast and claimed it to be British colony. Most settlers came there in the 19th century to dig for gold. Since then the population of around 20 million people consists of various nationalities. The original inhabitants – Aborigines – have a colourful culture with many language dialects. Unfortunately, they basically died off while protecting their home land in the 18th and 19th century. Currently their population is about 100 000 inhabitants.
The surface of Australia is mostly narrow. However there are some mountains, such as Uluru or Australian Alps with the highest mountain Mt. Kosciusko. Because Australian climate is mostly subtropical and the country suffers from drought, there are also several desserts (The Great Sandy Dessert, Great Victoria Dessert) that create majority of its landscape, and rainforests and jungles on the North East. The biggest rivers are Murray and Darling. The Great Artesian Basin and the Lake Eyre Basin are in the central Australia. Australia is worldwide known for its endemic animal species – bears koalas, kangaroos, birds emu or platypuses.
The capital city of Australia is Canberra, however the biggest city is Sydney and by many is considered to be the capital city. The whole state of Australia is divided into six states and two territories. Other big cities are for example Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane or Darwin.
New Zealand is also an insular state, specifically consists of two large islands in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. As well it is a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, being constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II. as a head of the state, with Governor-General as her representant. Their flag is very similar to Australian flag, it also has the Union Jack in the upper left corner, but the Commonwealth star underneath it is missing. On the right part there is the Southern Cross formation (red stars). The background is also dark blue.
The history of New Zealand also starts with James Cook’s discovery in the 19th century, when it became a British colony. Most of the population of 3 million people consists of Europeans and of the original inhabitants – Maori – who also have very significant culture with traditions (for example their national dance that is know all around the world because of football).
The capital city is Wellington, which is the most important city in the country since it’s the main economic and cultural centre. The biggest city in the country is Auckland.
The landscape of New Zealand is mainly hills and mountains with its atmospherical sceneries. Filming of the famous Lord of the Rings took place there.