Australia is the smallest continent on the Earth. There prevails tropical climate zone, the rest of the continent is in the sub-tropical zone. The nearest neighbour in the north is New Guinea from which is Australia separated by Torres Strait.
Along the east coast there is a Great Barrier Reef - it´s the biggest coral reef on the Earth. The next nearest islands are for example Tasmania - King Island, Kangoroo Island.....
There are three deserts - Great Sandy Desert, Gibson Desert, Great Victoria Desert. The surface of Australia is mostly flat - The Great Western Plateau occupies nearly half of the continent.
The second part is the Central-Eastern Lowland and the third part are the Australian Cordilleras. Australian Alps continue to the New England Range and Blue Mountains.
The biggest cities are mostly along the coast of Australia, but the capitalCanberra is in outback. Australia is famous for its unique marsupials - kangoroo is regarde as the National Emblem.
Koala Bear is the most popular marsupial in the world, because it´s sweet and good-natured.
The average density of population is one of the lowest in the world - 2 people to 1 square kilometre.
Many people have made Australia their home, moving from all parts in the world, they have made a cosmopolitan character of the modern world in main cities (the natives are called Aborigins).
Australia is divided into several parts - New South Wales - with the largest city Sydney, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, West Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.
The first recorded sighting of Australia by Europeans was in 1606 (Willem Jansz), then the Spanish ship with Luis V. De Torres sailed north of Cape York and through the Torres Strait proving that New Guinea was separated from any southern continent.
The wave of immigration began in 1788 after Captain James Cook had claimed New South Wales as a British colony in 1770. The first fleet were convicts and the convict system lasted till 1866, when it was officially abolished in the last colony in Australia - in Western Australia.
Colonies stepwise separated - the first was New South Wales, then Tasmania, Western Australia, South A., Victoria and Queensland.
Australia also wanted an independence and this idea was solved on 1st of January, 1901 when Queen Victoria proclaimed the Commonwealth of Australia.
The head of the state is the British monarch and he´s represented by governor general. The executive is composed of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Parliament is divided into 2 chambers; the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Australia belongs to the highly developed countries of the world. The living standard there is very high. There are developed industries and agriculture and this country is also well-known for its mineral deposits (coal, iron ore,...).
Very important is export of food stuff to Japan.
20. duben 2008