Travel and Explore Australia


 The continent of Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere and consists of the mainland, Tasmania and several smaller islands all surrounded by the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Legends of the island’s existence date back to the Romans who included it in their geography. Indigenous nations of hunters and gatherers called Australia home for an estimated 40,000 years before European settlement. The first recorded sighting is by Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606. The continent was not claimed until 1770 when James Cook mapped the eastern coast and named it New South Wales. Preparations were made for a penal colony to be developed.

 The British Crown Colony of New South Wales was established at Port Jackson on 26 January 1788 under the direction of Captain Arthur Phillip. To this day the date is celebrated as Australia Day. The population grew with exploration and 4 self governing colonies were established in addition to New South Wales, South Australia in 1836, Victoria in 1851, Queensland in 1859, the Northern Territory in 1911.

 On January 1901, the 6 colonies united after much planning and deliberation to become the Commonwealth of Australia. Britain's Statute of Westminster ended constitutional links with Australia in 1931, though Queen Elizabeth II is still the reigning monarch and head of the executive branch of government. Australia has a constitutional monarchy with 3 branches of government, the legislative, executive and the judiciary.

 The Australian federal government obtained power to legislate laws and incorporate policies over the aboriginal nations in 1967. Native title or land ownership was not recognized until 1992, until that time the country was considered to be “no man’s land” when first settled. UK’s defeat by Asia in 1942, and the threat of Asian occupation caused Australia to become a formal US ally in 1951.

 Australia has encouraged immigration since WWII and has been growing steadily. The current population of over 22 million is mostly located in and around the state capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and the capital city of Canberra. Australian English is spoken which is a combination of English with unique dialects and terminology. A small fraction of the populous speak Chinese, Italian and Greek.


 The largest part of the country is desert, also known as the “outback”, though rainforests, woodlands, grasslands and mangrove swamps exist to the north. Australia is home to approximately 755 species of reptiles and to famous marsupials like the kangaroo, koala and wombat. Temperatures average between 56 and 72 degrees annually, though the heat may get a bit much in the summer at 105 degrees in desert regions. There are many places to visit in major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Cairns.

 The Sydney Opera House will soon be equated with Sydney much the same as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. Make it a Sydney vacation idea and visit the Sydney Opera House when visiting Australia. The Sydney Harbor Bridge is the largest single arch structure in the world. Ayers Rock is the world's largest monolith and sacred sight to the Aborigines. The Australia Zoo was founded by Steve Irwin and his family and still maintained by the Irwin family and friends.




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