The Australia , considered country-continent, is the sixth country in area, with a total area of over 7.7 million square kilometers. Its area is surpassed only by Russia, Canada, China, the United States and Brazil.
This country of extensive coastline is bathed by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Among the few islands off its long coastline, the island of Tasmania stands out, separated from Australia by the Bass Strait, in the south east of the country.
The territory is divided into six states : Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, in addition to two territories, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra).
The Australian shield forms an extensive crystalline plateau, the Western Plateau , whose altitudes vary between 300 and 600 meters, and has important mineral deposits.
Along the Pacific coast, is located the Australian mountain range , which extends from the York peninsula to the State of Victoria, in the southern tip of the continent. In the southern portion of this mountain range, there is an old fold called the Australian Alps , in the State of New South Wales.
Between the Western Plateau and the Australian mountain range, the Central Plains are located .
The country is relatively poor in rivers, due to the arid and semi-arid climates that dominate large expanses. The most important watershed is Murray , with its large tributary, the Darling River , and is located south of the Central Plains.
The central-western portion of the country is rich in lakes. The rivers in this region are mostly temporary and tributary to Lake Eyre , with 9,583 km².
In Australia, hot and dry climates (arid and semi-arid) predominate, responsible for extensive deserts such as Vitória, Gibson and Simpson, in the Western Plateau.
In arid regions, continentality is responsible for the marked daily thermal amplitude, as occurs in Alice Springs , in the Northern Territory, where the temperature, during the day, reaches more than 47 ° C in the shade and, during the night, falls to –5 ° C.
According to Recipesinthebox.com, other types of climate in Australia are the humid tropical , in the northern and eastern portions, subject to the monsoon regime; the wet temperate , of fertile land; the Mediterranean and the subtropical , with winter rains.
The variety of climates results in a range of plant formations in Australian territory. It includes the extensive savannas ( bush ), a consequence of hot and arid climates, and tropical and subtropical forests , with the presence of eucalyptus (tree native to Australia), which are located in the wet areas of the northern and eastern coastlines.
Australia is known for its endemic fauna, that is, animal species that evolved in its territory and only exist there, such as the koala, the platypus, the echidna, the dingo, the kangaroo among others. This is due to its continental isolation.
Colonization of Australia
The Dutch were the first Europeans to explore Australian territory. In 1770, it was the turn of the Englishman James Cook.
In 1788, British occupation and colonization began in Australia: the English settled in the Bay of Sydney Cove, where the current city of Sydney is located. For a long time, Australia was an English agricultural penal colony.
The original inhabitants of Australia were the Aborigines , who were, for the most part, exterminated by the English. These people lived off the collection, were nomads and did not practice agriculture. They were economically self-sufficient.
Colonial domination, however, has disrupted these societies, currently relegated to isolated areas of the country, the outbacks . In many communities, the native lifestyle reflects values adopted by colonizing peoples.
Initially, some factors discouraged Europeans from going to Australia: the distance between the two continents and the preference for America, relegating Oceania to the background.
The discovery of gold in Australia, in 1851, changed this situation: the country started to receive thousands of European immigrants , initially British, later Italians, Irish and Greeks (it was difficult for non-Europeans to enter the country).
Australia’s population, with 24 million people (data from 2016), is concentrated in the southeast and the main cities are Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Canberra, the capital, has just over 350 thousand inhabitants.
Current socioeconomic indicators – such as high HDI, low birth rates, high life expectancy and high per capita income – make Australia a modern and developed nation.
It is a country that has a very diversified economy, with an industry linked from the primary sector, with the production of food, wine, tobacco and mineral exploration, to activities that require great technology, such as the machinery, equipment, products chemical, metallurgical, steel, etc.
The tertiary sector represents 71% of the country’s economy (major development of cutting-edge technology and qualified service provision), the secondary sector (industries) corresponds to 21% of production and the primary sector corresponds to 8%. In addition, some of its universities are considered research centers, such as the University of Melbourne.
Australia exports meat, wheat, wool and ores, such as bauxite, lead, nickel, manganese, gold and silver.
Australia is located between America and Asia, a strategic area of the Pacific, both from a commercial and maritime point of view, as well as from an international geopolitical point of view. International trade is carried out in a more dynamic way: today Asia and Pacific Economic Cooperation ( APEC ) is responsible for a significant portion of world exports.
Australia is very well equipped to play the role of “average power” in the Pacific Ocean.
English is the official language of the country and, until the 1960s, Australia and the United Kingdom remained connected militarily and economically.
Australia is part of the British Commonwealth of Nations , which defines itself as a “Voluntary Association of Sovereign States”.
The country is a parliamentary monarchy, whose head of state is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The head of government is the prime minister.