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Australia is an island continent and the world's sixth largest country lying between the

Indian and Pacific oceans. Australia has a strong, modern economy. Its monetary unit
is the Australian dollar. Canberra is Australia's capital city. States: New South Wales
(NSW), Queensland (Qld), South Australia (SA), Tasmania (Tas.), Victoria (Vic.) and
Western Australia (WA).
Population: Australia has a population about 20 million people. Most of Australia's
population lives on the fertile plains of the eastern and southeastern coasts. The interior of
Australia (called the Outback) is dry with many deserts.
History. Australia's first inhabitants, the Aboriginal people, are believed to have migrated
from some unknown point in
Asia to Australia between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago.
While Captain James Cook is credited with Australia's European discovery in 1770, a
Portuguese possibly first sighted the country, while the Dutch are known to have explored
the coastal regions in the 1640s.
The first European settlement of Australia was in January 1788, when the First Fleet sailed
into Botany Bay under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. Originally established as a
penal colony, by the 1830s the number of free settlers was increasing. Transportation of
convicts to the eastern colonies was abolished in 1852 and to the western colonies in 1868.
Commonwealth of Australia. The form of government used in Australia is a
constitutional monarchy – ‘constitutional’ because the powers and procedures of the
Australian Government are defined by a written constitution, and ‘monarchy’ because
Australia’s head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed
in 1901 when six independent British colonies agreed to join together and become states of
a new nation. Under a federal system, powers are divided between a central government
and individual states.

There are three ‘arms’ of the Australian Government:
the legislature (or parliament) is responsible for debating and voting on new laws to be introduced
under the power of section 51.
the executive is responsible for enacting and upholding the laws established by the legislature. Certain
members of the legislature (called ministers) are also members of the executive, with special
responsibilities for certain areas of the law.
the judiciary is the legal arm of the Australian Government. It is independent of the other two arms,
and is responsible for enforcing the laws and deciding whether the other two arms are acting within
their powers.

The Lowest Point: Lake Eyre is Australia's lowest point. It is 16 m below sea level, located
in South Australia.
The Longest River: Australia's longest river is the Murray-Darling River, in New South
Wales, which flows for 2,911 miles (4,685 km) into the Indian Ocean.
The Tallest Mountain: Australia's tallest peak is Mount Kosciuszko, which is 2,228 m tall.
It is located in southeastern Australia, near Canberra, in the Great Dividing Range
The Largest Island: Tasmania located off the southeastern coast of mainland Australia. Its
tallest peak is Mt. Ossa.
Rainforest: The eastern coast of Australia is covered by lush tropical rainforests. The Great
Dividing Range, a mountain range that runs north-south along Australia's eastern coast,
causes a lot of rain to fall of the east coast (and blocks rain from the interior of the
Desert: The interior of Australia is covered largely by scrub and desert, called the Outback.
The Great Dividing Range, a mountain range that runs north-south along Australia's eastern
coast, blocks rain from the interior of the continent.
Largest Monolith: The world's largest monolith, Uluru (formerly called Ayers Rock) is in
central Australia, in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru is a sacred aboriginal site and a
world-famous landmark. It is 348 m tall and is made of sandstone.
Australia has 19 listed World Heritage properties:
 The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system and the largest World
Heritage area.

Kakadu National Park contains features of great natural beauty and sweeping
landscapes and living Aboriginal culture dating back tens of thousands of years.
Fraser Island stretches along the southern coast of Queensland, it is the largest sand
island in the world. The island is a place with its long uninterrupted white beaches
flanked by strikingly coloured sand cliffs, its majestic tall rainforests and numerous
freshwater lakes of crystal clear waters.