The British Commonwealth of Nations
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
/Commonwealth of Australia/
Australia is the smallest continent and the biggest island in the world. It is situated between the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
There are two greatest deserts in Australia: the Great Sandy Desert and the Great Victoria Desert. They are red, orange, and brown and strenge rocks can be found there. Ayers Rock, the largest piece of rock in the world, is the most famous of them.
Australia has two big rivers, the Murray and the Darling, and three lakes: Lake Eyre, Lake Torrensand Lake Gairdner. The highest mountain is Mount Kosciusko /2,228 m/.
Australia has many different kinds of climate: tropical in the north, continental in the interior, sub – tropical or temperate in the rest of the continent. The south – east coast has pleasantly warm summers and mild winters; the Australian Alps have snow for almost half the year. A long tine of mountains in the east, known as the Great Dividing Range, divides the wet coast of eastern Australia from the dry lands in the centre.
Australia is famous for its animals. The kangaroo is a strange animal whose female has a pouch in which its young are carried. The koala is a treeclimbing mammal. The emu is a large bird that runs well but cannot fly. And the platypus is probably the world’s strangest animal.
New Zealand is to be found south – east of Australia. It consists of two large islands, the North Island and the South Island. New Zealand is mainly mountainous. Mount Cook in Southern Alps in the South Island is 3, 764 m high. The North Island is predominantly famous for its volcanic area. It also has many small lakes. The climate is very pleasant.
Australia and New Zealand were discovered by the Dutch in the 17th century /Abel Tasman/. Later Captain James Cook explored the coasts of the islands. When the first white people from Europe came to Australia, about 300,000 Australian Aborigines were living there.They understood and loved their land but Europeans wanted it, many of them died. Now there are about 200,000 Aborigines, they live in government reserves, but also in some cities.
In Australian english a lot of words are made by shortening everyday words: Oz – Australia , barbie – barbecue, ta – thank you ...Australians prefer short words.
Sheep and cattle farmers live on isolated farms called stations in Australia. The farmers do not often go to towns. Children cannot go to school, their school is home and they have teachers.
The first inhabitants of New Zealand were the Maori of Polynesian origin. Today they represent about 9 per cent of the population. The official language is English.
The density of population in New Zealand is much higher than in Australia. More than 80 per cent live in towns.
Australia and New Zealand are independent states within the British Commonwealth of Nations. The head of both states is the British monarch represented by the Governor – General.
Australia is a federal state consisting of six states and two territories: Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Teritory, and
Australian Capital Territory. Each state has its own government and its own capital city. The state capitals are Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Hobart. The capital city is the Canberra.
SYDNEY is the oldest, largest, the most beautiful and the most modern city. It is the main port and the capital of New South Wales. Sydney is dominated by the Harbour Bridge – one of the longest. A wonderful part of Sydney is the famous Opera House designed by a Danish architect. It stands in the harbour and looks like sailing boats.
ADELAIDE – famous festival of music, theatre and film every 2 years
PERTH – 1/3 of family has boat
MELBOURNE – at the beginning of century was capital, sport centre /tennis/, Australian rules /football/
DARWIN – north, aren’t tall buildings because wind is, cyclon 67 people died, destroyed all buildings
CANBERRA – capital city, it isn’t on the coast /120 km/, big lake
Famous Australians – R. Laver, P. Cash, M.Gibson, P.White, Kerry Packer, N. Kelly
New Zealand is divided into counties. Its capital is Wellington. Other large cities are Auckland /the largest/, Christchurch, Hamilton.
The Australian flag is a blue field with the British Union Jack in the upper left corner, a white federal star, and the stars of the Southern Cross.
The flag of New Zealand consists of the Union Jack and four red stars in the constellation of the Southern Cross.
Australia and New Zealand are rich countries: iron ore, oil, natural gas and coal are found there. Australia is also rich in gold, silver, and other metals. And it is the greatest producer of wool in the world. It second biggest export is wheat, other export are beef, mutton and minerals.
New Zealand’s prosperity is founded on dairy farming. The pleasant climate allows cattle and sheep to stay outside even in winter. Grass grows faster in New Zealand than in most countries and is called ‘the green gold’ there.
12. říjen 2008