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Australia, New Zealand Australia is the smallest continent and the sixth largest country in the world. It is situated between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans in the southern hemisphere. Its official name isthe Commonwealth of Australia and its capital isCanberra. Another big cities areSydney (the largest and the oldest city famous for the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House),Melbourne (the second largest city),Brisbane, Perthand Adelaide Geography: LandIts area is 7,7 million km square. The country is divided intosix states - Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania andtwo territories – Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory. Western Australia takes up one-third of Australia and contains the city of Perth.South Australia with city of Adelaide.Queenslandlies in the tropical north-eastern corner.New South Wales is the most populous state.Victoria is in the south west corner.Tasmaniais an island state, the smallest state. Northern Territory lies in the north and centre of Australia. It is the least populated and lest developed of all the states and territories.Australian Capital Territory is the capital city Canberra. Mountains Australia is mostly flax, except fromGreat Diving Range and theAustralian Alps. The highest mountain isMount Kosciusko(2,200 m), in the Australian Alps.Lake Eyre is the lowest top (16 m below the sea level) Ayers Rock(=Urulu) is the largest piece of rock in the world. It is about 2,4 kilometres long and 300 metres high and has many small caves. The walls of these caves are covered with rock painting made long ago by the Aboriginal artists. Water Many of Australia’s rivers are dry and fill with water only during the rainy season. The longest riveristhe Murray, another significant river isthe Darling River. There are many creeks in Australia. Most of Australia’s natural lakes are dry for months or years – for exampleLake Eyre,Lake Torrens andLake Gairdner Deserts Some parts of Australia are completely dry - in central Australia there are three deserts -the Great Sandy Desert, the Gibson Desert andthe Great Victoria Desert Climate Far north climate is tropical with heavy summer rainfalls and hot dry summers and mild winters are on Southwest. History The original inhabitants of Australia were the Aborigines – they arrived from Asia about 40, 000 years ago when Australia wasn’t a separate island. Dutch sea captain Abel Tasman, landed on the island which was eventually named after him, Tasmania In 1770 Captain James Cook discovered the island – he landed in Botany Bay in today’s Sydney and explored the eastern coast. It became British colony and gold was founded here. People The population is about 22 million people. They are mostly of British and Irish origins. Native Australians are called Aborigines. Official language is English. Government Australia is part of British Commonwealth, so it is constitutional monarchy, but in practice it is parliamentary democracy. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II., but the Governor General performs all functions in the Queens absence. Head of the government is Prime Minister. Legislature is parliament. It is divided into 2 houses – Senate (76 members) and House of representatives (148 members). Executive is Prime minister and Cabinet. Flag: The Union Jack with five stars that represent the constellation of the Southern Cross and a large seven-pointed star for 6 states and 1 territory. Economy Currency used in Australia is Australian dollar. Typical agriculture products are cattle, wheat, wool, milk, barley, eucalyptus and pine timber. Australia has rich natural resources, they have lot of coal, oil, natural gas, iron and much more. New Zealand New Zealand is situated southeast of Australia in the South Pacific. It consists of two large islands: North and South. The majority of the people live on the North island, mainly for its mild climate and capital city Wellington and the largest city Auckland are also situated here. Taupo is the largest New Zealand lake and it is situated on the North Island too. We can find Southern Alps on the South Island. There is the highest top of New Zealand called Mount Cook (3,7 m) History: First people came from Eastern Polynesia. Native New Zealanders are called Maoris. Abel Tasman, Dutch sailor, was the first European here, but the first colonists were British. The treaty of Waitangi was signed by British and Maoris. The Maori were promised protection. But it didn’t work, and New Zealand become independent in 1947. Political system: It is part of British Commonwealth. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II., but the Governor General performs all functions in the Queens absence. House of representative (Parliament) has legislative power. Government and prime minister have executive power. People: The population is about 4 million. People are mostly European descents. Maoris form the second largest group. New Zealanders celebrate Waitangi Day and Anzac Day.