Zaslal(a): Jakub V.
Some basic facts
The official name: The Commonwealth of Australia
Area: about 8 million km2
Population: about 22 million
Other cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide
Currency: Australian dollar
Political structure: a federal state of 7 states
Head of state: British monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) represented by a Governor General
Australia is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
The official name is The Commonwealth of Australia.
Australia is also called Oz or the Land Down Under.
The head of the country is the British Queen.
- Australia is located in the southern hemisphere.
- It is the smallest continent in the world.
- It is the 6th biggest country in the world.
- It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean in the west and south and the Pacific Ocean in the east.
- In the north-east, there is the Coral sea with the Great Barrier Reef.
- In the south-east, you can find Tasmania which is the biggest island belonging to Australia.
- In central Australia there are deserts. This part of Australia is called the Outback and is mostly uninhabited. There are 4 great deserts in central Australia: The Great Sandy Desert, Gibson Desert, Great Victoria Desert, Simson Desert. There is one special desert with red sand and the most famous sight Uluru (Ayers Rock). It is the largest piece of stone in the world. It is the sacred place to Aborigines. It is popular with tourists because of its beautiful colours.
- The majority of Australians live in urban areas along the southeast coast.
- There are tropical rain forests in the north and north-east. The tropical northern parts are also nearly uninhabited.
There are the Australian Cordilleras along the eastern coast and continue into Tasmania.
The New England Range
The Blue Mountains
The Australian Alps – there is the highest mountain in Australia Mt. Kosciusco – 2,230m
Other mountains ranges are:
The Mac Donnel Ranges
- Rivers and lakes
The largest rivers are the Murray and the Darling
Important lakes include Lake Eyre, Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner
- Australia has a wide range of climate. It varies from tropical, subtropical, desert to temperate temperatures.
- Tropical – Northern Territory
- Desert – the central part of Australia
- Temperate – in the south and south-east and in Tasmania (this area is the most inhabited)
- Australian seasons are the opposite of the northern hemisphere ( summers start in December, winters in June)
- Australia has more than 2,000 national parks, nature reserves and protected wilderness areas (desert landscape, high mountains, rainforests).
- Australia has a lot of unique animals – kangaroo, koala, emu, dingo, playtypus ( it is a mammal, it has a beak and webbed feet and layes eggs).
- Typical plant of this country is
- The original inhabitants were the They arrived from Asia 40,000 years ago. (Australia wasn´t a separate island.) They used boomerangs for hunting. They have a special culture and hundreds of dialects. Many of them died in the 18th century while protecting their land against the first settlers. Now they live in reserves.
- The island was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770. He landed in today´s Sydney and explored the eastern coast. The Dutch Abel Tasman discovered Tasmania.
- After that Australia was colonized by Europeans. The first European settlers were mostly convicts (prisoners, criminals). They were transported from Britain.
- In the 19th century many settlers came here to search for gold. The gold rush contributed to the exploration as well as to the economic growth of Australia.
- Australia´s immigrants brought their traditions with them. The most inhabitants are of British origin.
- The Commonwealth was proclaimed in 1901.
- After 1945 a lot of immigrants came from European countries such as Italy, Greece, Poland or from Asian countries.
- Australian population is a great mixture of various nationalities. It is a multicultural country.
- It has a population of about 22 million.
- Most inhabitants are of British origin. It can be seen in many aspects of Australian life (English is the official language, they drive on the left).
- Other ethnic groups are from European and Asian countries.
- Only about 1 per cent of inhabitants are
- the country is rich in raw materials, especially in bauxite, coal, iron ore, gold, silver, and oil
Mining, industry, agriculture and tourism are Australia´s most important sources of income.
- The main industries are iron, steel, textiles, chemical, car aircraft, ship and machinery industries.
- Most recently, tourism has become important, too.
- Australia is an important exporter of beef, lamb, wool and wheat.
- Other agricultural products are barley, sugar, wine, fruit and vegetables.
- There are huge sheep farms.
- Australia is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. It is a British dominion.
- It is an independent country within the Commonwealth.
- The official head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. represented by the Governor-General.
- The real head of state is the Prime Minister.
- Canberra is the capital of Australia. There is the seat of the Federal Parliament. It has two chambers – the Senate and the House of Representatives.
- Australia is a federal state of 7 states ( or 6 states and 2 territories). Each state has its own constitution, governor, executive, legislative and judicial system.
Parts of Australia
- Australia consists of 7 states . Each of them has its own capital city.
- New South Wales – Sydney
- Victoria – Melbourne
- South Australia – Adelaide
- Queensland – Brisbane
- Western Australia – Perth
- Tasmania – Hobarth
- Northern Territory – Darwin
- consits of a small Union Jack in the top left-hand corner on a blue background and a 7 pointed star known as the Commonwealth Star and a picture of the Southern Cross Constellation.
Places of interest
Australia is a country of amazing natural beauty.You can admire deserts, sandy beaches, rainforests, high mountains, modern cities, sheep farms, unique animals.
- the capital of Australia, it is the seat of the Federal Parliament
- the largest and oldest city
- the most famous sights include Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
- there is a popular Bondi beach and Sydney Aquarium
- Thee are a lot of restaurants, shopping malls and hotels
Uluru (Ayers Rock)
- a large piece of red rock in the Outback
- the most sacred place to the Aborigines
The Great Barrier Reef
- along the east coast
- it is the biggest coral reef in the world
- made up of coral and algae
- more than 1,500 species of fish live on the reef
- it is popular with tourists and divers
The Australian Alps
- along the eastern coast
- you can go skiing there
- 26th January – Australia Day – they remember the day when the first British ship came to the country
- Australians love sports (cricket, football, rugby, water sports – diving, surfing, windsurfing, yachting)
- Cricket is a national sport.
They drive on the left.
There are big distances between places.
- Many people in Australia live hundreds of miles away from the nearest school or hospital.
- Children study at home. They talk to their teacher by radio or computer. It is called the school of the Air.
- If someone is ill the Flying Doctor will visit them by plane. A helicopter is an important means of transport.
- Australia has two of the most poisonous spiders in the world. – the black widow and the Sydney funnel web. All children learn first aid for spider bites at school.