Australia• Australia is located in the southern hemisphere and situated south of Asia, between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans.• Australia is a continent, a country and an island all at the same time.• The name "Australia" is derived from the Latin word Australis, meaning “of the South”.
The Formation of Australia• The island continent of Australia was formed by ancient volcanic activity, plate tectonics and continental drift• Australia became isolated from other continents millions of years ago
An Island• As an island, the country is surrounded by oceans on all sides. • To the west is the Indian Ocean, to the east is the Pacific and to the south is the frigid Southern Ocean. Indian Ocean Pacific Ocean Southern Ocean
Australia’s Geography• Australia is the earth’s smallest, flattest continent.• In the east, there is the Great Dividing Range and in the west there are ranges of plains and plateaus.• The interior consists of very dry, arid, deserts which makes up most of the land in the country.• The dry interior is more commonly referred to as
Australia’s Climate• The climate of Australia varies but large portions of the country is a desertlike, arid or semiarid climate.• Cold waters off the west coast of the continent cause this because the colder air it creates holds less moisture.• On the northern and eastern coasts; however, the Eastern Australian Current provides warm air and climate.• These climates are more tropical and subtropical.• Towards the south, the climate is temperate
Different Hemispheres• Because Australia is in the southern hemisphere, life is slightly different.• For example, the seasons are the exact opposite of what we are used to in the U.S. – Summer: December to February – Autumn: March to May – Winter: June to August – Spring: September to November
The Coriolis Effect• The Coriolis Effect is a natural phenomena created by the spinning of the earth on it’s axis.• Wind in the northern hemisphere deflect one direction, while in the south, the wind deflects in the opposite.• This effect is most noticeable in hurricanes.
Northern HemisphereSouthern Hemisphere
The Toilet Flush Mystery• Does the Coriolis Effect cause toilets and sinks in Australia to drain counter-clockwise?
The Toilet Flush Mystery• The truth is, toilet flushes are not influenced by the Coriolis Effect.• The direction in which a drain swirls has to do with the shape of the drain, and any motion in the water.• Most toilets in Australia typically have larger drains than American toilets, and the water drains more down the sides rather than in a swirling motion.
An Ancient Land• For thousands of years, forces of erosion and weathering have reduced the landscape without building it up.• Australia experiences extensive desert conditions with constant erosion of the topsoil.
An Ancient Land• The ancient and isolated land of varied soils and landscapes created unique and diverse plants and animals that are particularly adapted to the harsh environments.
Australia’s Animals• Marsupials (over 140 species) dominate, including kangaroos, wallabies and koalas, who can adapt to the extremely dry, harsh climate.
Tasmanian Devil• They may look cute and cuddly, but the Tasmanian Devil is the largest, carnivorous marsupial.• They are highly aggressive, territorial and competitive when it comes to food and mates.• They are even known to eat their own babies!
Kangaroos• The Kangaroo is the symbol of Australia.• The marsupials give birth to a live baby the size of a bean. The “joey” lives in the pouch feeding on mother’s milk until it’s big enough to be on its own.
The Duckbilled Platypus• Perhaps the most interesting and odd animal native to Australia is the duckbilled platypus.• When it was first encountered, many people thought it was an elaborate hoax.• It is indeed very bizarre looking with the beak of a duck, beaver tail and otter feet.• It is also a monotreme, a type of mammal that lays eggs.• It is also venomous!
Australia’s Animals• Crocodiles have been around for millions of years.• They continue to thrive because there are no other predators.• Crocodiles live in rivers, lakes and billabongs.• Australian salt water crocs can reach around 20ft in length and 3000lbs!
Gomek• The largest salt water crocodile ever held in captivity was Gomek, at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.• Gomek was nearly 18 ft. long and over 2000 lbs.• He died in 1997 and was estimated to be around 80 years old.
Australia’s Animals• Australia is also home to 10 out of the 15 most deadliest snakes in the world!The inland taipan is the world’s deadliest mostsnake. Luckily no human death has beenreported probably due to the fact that thesnake lives in remote areas of Australia.
An Ancient Land• Not only did plants and animals adapt to harsh environments, indigenous people also had to adapt and developed cultural characteristics suitable to their landscapes
The First Australians• The Aborigines are theAustralian natives thathad been living there forthousands of yearsbefore the firstEuropeans came toAustralia in the 1600’s.• They arrived thereabout 40,000 years agofrom southern Asia.
European Arrival • Australia had been happened upon by many sailors as early as the 1600’s. • Captain James Cook claimed Australia for England in 1770. He was sent to discover the huge land that many people believed was south of the equator. He landed south of present day Sydney in New South Wales.
Did you know?• One of the prime reasons for British colonization of Australia was to establish a penal colony.• Penal colonies helped alleviate the overcrowding in British prisons.• For about 80 years, over 165,000 British prisoners were sent to Australia.• Many of Australia’s largest cities were once penal colonies.
Australian Gold Rush• In 1851 gold was discovered about 200 miles west of Sydney.• People rushed to the gold fields to find their fortunes. This attracted people from all over the world.• Over 350,000 immigrants came to Australia during the gold rush, looking to strike it rich.
The Commonwealth of Australia• In 1907, Australia’s six independent territories joined together to become the Commonwealth of Australia.• The flag of Australia is the only one to fly over a whole continent. The small Union Jack represents the historical link with Britain, the large seven-pointed star represents the six States and Territories, and the small stars form the Southern Cross – a prominent feature of the southern hemisphere night sky.
Australia Today• Australia is a relatively small country.• There are only 22 million inhabitants, (compared to 300+ million in the USA).• 85% of the population live along the south and eastern coastlines in urbanized areas such as Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.• The largest city in the west is Perth.
Capital of South Australia. A pretty and industrial city. Population: 1,100,000 people. Gold Beach Adelaide Victoria Square Fountain
Capital of Victoria. The world’s most livable city. Population: 3,800,000Old House Melbourne Bridge Train Station
Capital of New South Wales. Leading industrial city. Population: 4,300,000 people. Sydney AMP Tower St. Maria CathedralThe Harbour Bridge Sydney Opera House
Capital of Queensland. It is a year-round vacation place. Population is about 1,900,000 people.Brisbane Skyscrapers Brisbane Bridge Brisbane
Capital of Western Australia. One of the best climates in Australia. Population: 1,600,000 people. Perth SkyscrapersKing’s Park
Canberra is the capital of Australia. It is very young city. Population is about 320,000 people. Capitol Hill Canberra Fountain
Australia Today• Australia has a diverse culture built by immigrants much like the United States.• 90% of the people can trace their heritage back to Europe with a vast majority being of British and Irish descent.• Other nationalities include German, Italian, Greek, Chinese and Vietnamese.• Australia continues to be a nation of immigrants.• A recent survey showed that nearly 1 and 5 Australians was born overseas.
British Influence• Because of the heavy British influence, most all Australians speak English.• Australian English; however, has a unique accent and a small number of unique terms to that of British or American English.
American English Australian English barbecue barbie kangaroo roo mosquito mozzie chicken chook candy lollie sandals thongs TV tellie girl sheila hurricane willy willy sheep jumbuck movies pictures postbox letterbox sneakers runners freeway main road
Australia’s Government• Australia’s government is a constitutional monarchy.• It is technically a commonwealth of Great Britain.• They have a parliament and a prime minister; however, Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State.
The 1999 Referendum• In 1999, Australians voted to remain a commonwealth of Great Britain rather than become an independent republic with an elected president as the head of state and not the monarchy of Great Britain.
Australia’s States and Territories• Australia has six states: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia.• And two territories: the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)• Each state has its own parliament and acts as an independent unit; however, it can be overridden by the
Sports in Australia• Sports in Australia are very important in daily life.• Most all Australians participate in some sort of organized sport activity.• The most popular sports in Australia are Australian Rules Football, Rugby, Cricket and Soccer.• Other popular sports are horse racing, motocross, and surfing.
Just look out for Great White Sharks
Famous Points of Interest
The Great Barrier Reef• The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world.• It is over 1500 miles long, stretching along the northeast coast of Australia.• It is estimated to be 25 million years old!• There are over 1800 species of life on these coral reefs including fish, plant life, turtles and many other
Great Barrier Reef From SpaceThe Great BarrierReef is so largethat it can be seenfrom space!
Uluru (Ayers Rock) • Uluru is one of Australias most recognizable natural icons. • It is the largest exposed rock in the world.• Many tourists flock to the remote area in the heart of Australia’s Outback to gaze upon and climb the giant rock. • Native aborigines believe Uluru is sacred and do not climb the rock. • They have protested tourists from climbing it due to the cultural and spiritual significance of it.
Sydney’s Harbour Bridge• One of the most notable features in Sydney is the Harbour Bridge.• It is the world’s widest and largest steel arch bridge.• It is over 440 ft. from the water to the top!• You can climb to the top of the bridge and have a breathtaking, panoramic view of Sydney.
Sydney’s Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House• The Sydney Opera House is probably one of the most recognizable features of Australia.• It’s unique sail or shell like design makes it a marvel of modern architecture.
Daintree Rainforest• Daintree Rainforest in Queensland is the largest, continuous forest in Australia.• It is home to many thousands of types of plants and animals including birds, frogs, reptiles, marsupials, bats, insects, etc.• The Daintree Rainforest is estimated to be 135 million years old! That makes it the oldest rainforest on the planet!• Conservation efforts are being made to protect this unique and diverse habitat.
Daintree Rainforest• You can explore the rainforest by truck, boat or skyrail!• You can even stay the night in a tree house!
The 12 Apostles • The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the coast of Victoria, Australia. • The endless beating of the waves caused erosion and thus created this natural phenomena. • As the bases continue to erode away, the “apostles” are in danger to fall. In 2005, a 150ft. stack fell into the sea.
Wallaman Falls• Wallaman Falls in Queensland is Australia’s highest waterfall.• It has a single drop over 1100ft.!• Tourists flock for the beautiful scenery… …and the occasional base jump.
Australia’s Economy• Australia is rich in natural resources.• Australia has diamonds, lead, zinc, opals - also bauxite, coal, copper, gold, iron ore.• Deposits are far from cities so mining operations are costly.• The “Super Pit” is Australia’s largest open-cut gold mine.• It is around 3 miles long, 1 mile wide and over 1,000 ft. deep.• It is so large that you can see it from space!
Australia’s Economy• Because of the poor soil, agriculture is not a large industry in Australia.• Instead, herding livestock such as sheep and cattle is a much more important industry.• In 1998, there were 15x more livestock than there were people!• Australia’s sheep ranching makes it the largest wool producing country in the world!
Today’s Issues in Australia
Aborigines• Much like Native Americans, the Aborigines have suffered greatly since the arrival of Europeans.• Their population significantly dwindled due to disease and repression.• Today, they make up only a small portion of the population.• Aborigines suffer from a higher rate of alcoholism, crime and poor education.
Aboriginal Land Claims• The Aborigine people have suffered greatly since the arrival of the Europeans.• The Aborigines had survived for thousands of years off the land.• When the Europeans came, they declared the land to be “empty” and took Aborigine land without making treaties.• The Europeans took the most fertile land which was very limited.• There have been many pleas to return Aboriginal land, much of which is sacred.• Recently, some lands have been returned through legal actions and court cases, the struggle continues for aboriginal land rights.
Uluru Land Claim• The Aborigines believe the land surrounding Uluru is sacred.• In 1983, the Prime Minister of Australia promised to hand back the land to the original Aboriginal owners.• The government of Australia signed a 99 year lease to have access to the land before the title is officially handed back to the Aborigines.
The Stolen Children• Between 1909 and 1969, 100,000 mixed-race children were forcibly taken from their homes and placed in the care of white families.• This was done to promote assimilation.• Aborigines angrily call these children the Stolen Generation.• Aborigines, themselves, werent even considered full citizens until 1967.
Whaling• Another hot button issue in Australia is that of whaling.• Whaling was once a big, commercial enterprise off the coast of Australia in the Southern Ocean.• Many species of whales were hunted nearly to the brink of extinction.• In 1986, the International Whaling Commission was founded and placed a worldwide ban on whaling.
Whaling• The ban on whaling greatly effected the Japanese fishing economy.• In Japan, whale meat is a delicacy and is sold at very high prices.• Today, the Japanese are allowed to whale for research purposes only; yet much of the meat is still packaged and sold in Japanese fish markets.• This has outraged many people, especially environmental groups who are trying to save the whales.• Much pressure has been put on the Australian government to intervene and stop the whaling.
Whaling• Some protests have even become somewhat violent.• One particular group, Sea Shepherd, use militant tactics.• They can be seen on the tv Whale Wars.