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AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND

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AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND Australia is situated in the eastern part of the Southern Hemisphere. It is surrounded by the waters of Pacific and Indian Oceans. Official name of Australia is Commonwealth of Australia. The capital city is Canberra. Other major cities are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Darwin. The country is divided into six states and two territories – New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Coral Sea Islands Territory and Australian Capital Territory. The first settlers came across the land bridge from South-East Asia. Original inhabitants are nowadays called Aboriginal Australians (Aborigines). In 17th century the land was named New Holland. Dutch explorers mapped a big part of the western and southern coast. But they didn’t want to settle down. At the end of the 18th century James Cook mapped eastern coast and named it New Southern Wales. The land became the British penal colony. Thousands of men and women were brought to Australia as prisoners until 1868, when the transports stopped. Unfortunately, the new settlers disrupted the lifestyle of the indigenous people and many became sick from new illnesses and died. In 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia was founded and the six colonies (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania) federated as sovereign states. Nowadays Australia is wealthy country, thanks to gold and iron resources. Australia is about as large as the USA, but some of the areas are completely unhabituated. The population is concentrated mostly on the coast. The centre of Australia is very dry – there is a dessert. The western part of Australia is flat, in the eastern part there are Eastern highlands or Great Diving Range. Than there are also Austrian Alps where the highest mountain of the land is situated. Australian alps are covered in snow even in summer. The largest river is the river Murray. Most of the Australian rivers are small creeks, when there is not enough rain. The largest of many lakes is Lake Eyre. Seasons in Australia are opposite to those in the Northern hemisphere. Northern part lies in tropical climate zone, the rest in subtropical or temperate zone. The country is often visited by hurricanes. As I mentioned before, Australia is a part of Commonwealth. The official head of the state is Elizabeth II. Queen is represented by governor general (Peter Cosgrove). The Queen actually doesn’t have the main word. The real ruler is the Prime Minister (Malcom Turnbull). There is Federal Government for the whole country and each state has its own government and institutions. The Federal Parliament consists if two houses – the Senate (64 senators) and the House of Representatives (elected in proportion to population of each state). The Australian flag is dark blue, with the flag of the United Kingdom in the upper left-hand corner. The lower left-hand corner contains a seven-pointed star known as the Commonwealth Star. Each of the star's points represents one of the six sovereign states, and the seventh point represents all of the territories. The rest of the flag is a picture of the Southern Cross constellation, which can only be seen in the southern hemisphere. It has one small star and four larger ones. Australia is a wealthy country. The Australian dollar is the currency for the nation. Economy is based on mining (iron, coal, bauxite), food industry, textile industry and agriculture. The most important branch of economy is sheep-raising. Australia is the greatest producer of wool in the world. Also, they produce wheat, barley, oats and maize. Australian fauna and flora is diverse and there are quite a lot of dangerous animals. Typical animals for the area are kangaroos, bear, dingo, wombat, platypus, box jellyfish, snakes (inland taipan – most poisonous snake), black widow. In Australia we can also find Eucalyptus. What you should definitely visit? Sydney – the oldest city is famous for its Opera house that looks like a sailing ship. Uluru – the highest monolith it he world, it is situated in the middle of the dessert and it’s owned by Aboriginals. Australia is a dangerous, but still exiting country. New Zealand is an island nation located in the south of the Pacific Ocean. The country is quite isolated. It is situated 2000km from Australia. English and Maori are both official languages of the New Zealand. The capital city is Wellington, but the largest is Auckland. It is generally agreed that the first settlers in New Zealand came from Eastern Polynesia in the Central Pacific around AD 800. These were most likely the ancestors of the Maori population. The Maori came by canoes and soon after arrival established their own civilisation. The first European to reach New Zealand was a Dutch sailor, Abel Tasman, in the 17th century. However, it was again the British naval officer James Cook who really explored the country and colonists and tradesmen soon followed him to the islands. In the 19th century there was an inter-tribal conflict called the Musket War. Great Britain took control of the South Island by right of discovery, and the North Island also became a British colony in 1840, when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by the Maori northern chiefs. The Maori were promised protection. A few years later war broke out between the Maori and the British, as some Maori were not willing to sell their land to the newcomers and felt deceived by the Treaty. The effort to achieve independence from Britain culminated after WWII, and New Zealand became formally independent in 1947. It is still a member of the Commonwealth. The country itself consists of two main islands and several small islands. In the North Island there is subtropical clime zone (warm summer, mild winters). Also for the north is typical volcanic activity which brings the struggle with earthquakes. New Zealand's largest natural lake, the Taupo, is also to be found on the North Island. The

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