Ch 24: Australia / New Zealand Sec. 1: Australia

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CH 24: Australia / New Zealand

Sec. 1: Australia

Is Australia a continent or a country? It is both.

-- Australia is the sixth largest country in the world.

-- It is surrounded by water, but it is too large to be called an island.

-- So geographers call it a continent.


Land Down Under  located in southern hemisphere

-- Great Barrier Reef (coral reef) lies off Australia’s northeastern coast

Outback  the name for the inland regions of Australia (location of mining camps and ranches)

-- Water is scarce -- Great Artesian Basin -- ranchers drill wells into underground pools of water and bring it to the surface

-- Narrow plains along south and southeast Australia hold its best farmland and most of the countries people

-- Australia’s native plants and animals are not found elsewhere in the world


Has a strong, prosperous economy

-- Full of mineral resources (iron, zinc, bauxite, gold, silver, opals, diamonds, pearls)

-- Full of energy resources (coal, oil, natural gas)

-- Dry climates limit farming. Irrigation allows farmers to grow grains, sugarcane, cotton, fruit, vegetables.

-- Main agricultural activity is raising livestock (cattle, sheep)

-- World’s top producer of wool

-- Manufacturing is growing in importance

-- High-tech industries, service industries, tourism play large role in economy


Small part of Australia’s population.

-- Descendants of the first immigrants who came from Asia.

-- British colonies took land from the Aborigines.

-- Many died of European diseases.

-- Today nearly 300,000 live in Australia.

-- In 1967 the Australian government recognized Aborigines as citizens.

Boomerang - One of the weapons the Aborigines use.

-- This wooden tool is shaped like a bent bird’s wing.

-- Hunters throw their boomerang to stun prey.

-- If the boomerang misses, it curves and sails back to the hunter.

History and People

First discovered by the Dutch (late 1600s)

-- Captain James Cook (1770) claimed it for Great Britain

-- Penal Colony - British government used it as a place to send prisoners

-- After gold was discovered more came and took land from Aborigines

Despite Australia’s huge area, has few people -- 19.4 million

-- Needs more skilled people to develop resources and build economy

-- More than 5 million immigrants have arrived in the past decades

-- 85% of Australia’s people live in cities

-- Sydney and Melbourne are the largest cities

-- Australians speak English


1901 – Australian British colonies united to form independent Commonwealth of Australia

-- Has British-style parliamentary democracy

-- Prime Minister is the head of government

-- Like US., Australia has a federal system

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