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DOWN UNDER-that is the nickname of this exotic country. It is so called, because it lies in the southern hemisphere. It is as large as the USA without Alaska. Most Australians live in the fertile plains near the coast. Most of the country is very dry, where is only one river, the Murray. White people have built o lot of dams, which are good for farming. Not all the continent is so extremely dry. The north lies in the tropical zone, the Australian Alps are covered with snow for about half of the year and the southeast has a pleasant type of climate. Australia is rich in wildlife.
Aus. was discovered by Europeans very late-in the 17th century. Its first name was New Holland and the first settlers were people who had to leave Europe. In 1901 it became a new British Dominion. When the Europeans came, there were already aboriginals living there. They came to Aus. about 40,000 years ago. Men hunted kangaroos or birds a women collected eatable plants and seeds. The typical weapon was the boomerang. In many places there are caves with sacred paintings on the walls.

ULURU or Ayers Rock is the most sacred place. It is the biggest monolith in the world. It is 3 km long, 2.5 km wide and 350 meters high. It changes colour during the day, you can see all shades of pink and red. SYDNEY is famous for the well-known Opera House which looks like a sailing boat. QUEENSLAND or the “queen state of Aus.” is a magnet for tourists. There are splendid beaches, for example the 200 km long Gold Coast, the Surfers Paradise with clear water, hotel skyscrapers and many bars. And there is the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world.

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