About Australia - its people, animals and places
Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere (that is the bottom half of the world). This is why it is sometimes referred to as the Land Down Under.
It is the smallest, flattest, and driest inhabited continent in the world.
It is also the only country which occupies a whole continent. Australia occupies 5% of the world's landmass (149,450,000 km2) and is the world's largest island.
The Australian economy is the 9th biggest. On a per capita basis it is the 15th richest country in the world.
The official name for Australia is the Commonwealth of Australia. It is a stable, culturally diverse, democracy following the Westminster form of government (the British model). It is the 6th oldest democracy in the world.
Great Barrier Reef
Great Ocean Road
New South Wales
Puffing Billy Railway
Sydney Opera House
The Great Southern Continent
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 and Western Australia. The two Territories are: Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory.
The capital of Australia is Canberra.
Australians call different parts of their country by different names:
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.
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".
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
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The People of Australia
Come from Around the World
The people of Australia are called Australians.
Australia has a population of approximately 21 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.
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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.
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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 seabirds. 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!.
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