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About Australia - its people, animals and places

The Land Called Australia The Great Southern Continent

Map of Australia

The Commonwealth of Australia is made up of of 6 states and territories. The six states are:
      • Queensland
      • New South Wales
      • South Australia
      • Tasmania
      • Victoria
      • Western Australia

The two Territories are:
      • Australian Capital Territory
      • Northern Territory.

The capital of Australia is Canberra.

Australians call different parts of their country by different names:

The City:
Is any large city and its suburbs. Over 85% of the people live in cities along the coast. Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra are major cities.

The Country:
Is the area immediately outside a city and usually includes the surrounding smaller towns and farms. Most of what is called "the country" is a stretch of land about 200 kilometres deep around the southeastern seaboard of Australia. Upper Beaconsfield, the Great Ocean Road and the Dandenongs are in "the country".

The Outback:
Is the sparsely populated arid interior of Australia. It makes up almost 85% of Australian landmass. The Outback is both harsh and breathtakingly beautiful. It's like no other place on earth.

The People of Australia Come from Around the World

The people of Australia are called Australians.

Australia has a population of approximately 22 million. Over 90% of the population is made up of immigrants or the children of immigrants who arrived here during the last two centuries. Almost one in four of Australians alive today was born overseas.

Aborigines arrived about 50,000 years ago.

Europeans arrived only in 1776 (about 235 years ago). Since then migrates from over 200 countries have come and settled here.

Australians speak English. But we have our own special words and phrases referred to as Strine.

Waltzing Matilda is Australia's most famous song and is know by people around the world.

The Animals and Plants of Australia Australia has 10 per cent of the world's biodiversity

Australia has lots of unusual plants and animals. More than 80% of its flowering plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia. Nearly 50% of its birds and nearly all of its fresh water fish are found nowhere else in the world.

There more than 140 species of marsupials such as the Kangaroo, Koala and Wombat live in Australia. The egg-laying mammals called monotremes such as the Platypus and Echidna are unique to Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef The Largest Coral Reef in the World

Australia’s marine environment is home to 4000 species of fish, 1700 species of coral , 50 types of marine mammals and a wide range of sea-birds. About 80 per cent of marine species found in southern Australian waters occur nowhere else in the world.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world.

It is stunning!

A Note About This Web Site

This web site was originally written in 1997 by Trishan, an eleven year old Australian kid and his dad. Over the ensuring years this site continued to rate very highly in Google searches. We even had over 1.6 million visitors. We have now given the site a long overdue face-lift with new video clips (which didn't exist at the time the page was originally written) and lots of additional content. We have, however, decided to maintain some of the "look and feel" of the original website. The large Imap on the top of this page, for example, has been with us since the very beginning. It appeared on the original website and we have retained it. . We hope you find our site informative and fun.