Australia is the smallest island continent but one of the oldest in the world. Australia lying between the Indian Ocean on the west and the Pacific Ocean on the east. Australia has many names – Oz, Down Under, the Lucky Country and the official name is the Commonwealth of Australia. The national language is English (but australians speak australian english which is not difficult /they use slang and some of their expressions can sound quite vulgar/ and aboriginals languages), the national game is cricet, and they drive on the left. The principal religion is Christianity.
Australia is divided into four topographic regions: the low narrow plain along the coast, the eastern highlands, the central plains and the arid western. There are two big deserts, the Great Sandy Desert and Great Victoria Desert. The country has two big rivers: the Murray and the Darling.
Australia is not densely populated. There are only about 19,5 million inhabitants mostly of British origin. There are about 125 000 aborigines living in Australia. The majority of the population lives in cities but many people live hundreds of miles away from the nearest school or hospital. Children study at home and they talk to their teachers by radio. If someone is ill the Flying Doctor will visit them by plane. Australians will think that you are being false if you are too charming or polite. They are rather informal and a sporting nation.
The Commonwealth of Australia is an independent self-governing country within the British Commonwealth. It has a democratic, federal system and separate capital sity – Canbera. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, represented by a governor-general. The head of government is the Prime Minister. Canbera is the seat of the Federal Parliament, which consists of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Commonwealth of Australia consists of 6 states: New South Wales (capital Sydney), Victoria (Melbourne), Queensland (Brisbane), South Australia (Adelaide), Western Australia (Perth), Tasmania (Hobart) and 2 territories: the Northen Territory and the Canberra Capital Territory. The Australian national flag consists of the British Flag symbol and a larger blue field in which 5 stars are in the form of the Southern Cross constellation. It symbolized 6 australian states and 1 territory. The largest cities in Australia are Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbaine. There are 10 universities, the oldest of them are Sydney and Melbourne Universities.
Australia is a huge country and has a wide range of climates from the tropical rain forest to the mild temperate climate. About two-thirds of the land is desert or semi desert.
Australia has two of the most poisonous spiders in the world – the black widow and the Sydney funnel web (all children learn first aid for spiders bites at school). In Australia we can see animal such as the kangaroo, the platypus, the koala, Tasmania devil and wombat.
Australia is an important woolgrowing country and ranks as one of the leading producers of meat and dairy products. Mining plays an important role in the country´s export trade. Principal exported minerals are gold, lead, copper, silver and zinc. Manufacturing of metallurgical products, steel, heavy equipment, electric and electronic equipment, chemicals, textiles, food processings and petroleum refining are on high level.
Sydney is Australia´s oldest, largest and liveliest state capital. It is a colourful, modern city but it has also a natural beauty with green parkland and perhaps the world´s most beautiful deep-water harbour. Sydney is famous for its modern buildings and roads. Historical places are Mrs Macquarie´s Chair, the area called the Rocks dating back to the early 19th century and the attractive terrace houses of Paddington. Sydney has many attractions which tourists can enjoy – surf beaches, a zoo, Koala Bear Park and an Opera House which is situated at the water´s edge (some say that this is one of the most beautiful examples of modern architecture in the world). People can visit there variety of restaurants, theatres, nightclubs, sports and social clubs. There is also a very efficient network of communications within the city, including an underground railway, buses and taxis. Sydney has a very pleasant, temperate climate.
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