Australia is the continent with the smallest land area. It is located in the southern hemisphere, and the seasons in this country are opposite to the seasons in the northern hemisphere. So, if winter comes in Russia, summer comes to Australia. Most of the cities in this country are located near the ocean, so beaches can be found across every thousand kilometers of the coast.
The first Europeans landed on the shores of the Australian continent in the 1520s. It was an expedition of 4 Portuguese caravels under the command of Cristovao Mendonka. After 100 years, Dutch sailors visited Australia: Captain Dirk Hartog conducted research on the west coast, Abel Tasman proved that the previously discovered lands are one continent.
In August 1770, an expedition by the English navigator James Cook was organized to explore the continent. Australia was declared a British possession and named New South Wales. James Cook officially became known as the discoverer of Australia. The colonization of the mainland began in 1788. Australia became a British penal colony - criminals were exiled to this island-continent.
Australia is now one of the ten most developed capitalist countries in the world. The capital of the state is Canberra. The status was awarded to this city as a compromise for Sydney and Melbourne. Australia has many attractions.
One of the main ones is the Sydney Opera House. It belongs to the most beautiful buildings erected in the twentieth century. The theater was built in the 1960s, has excellent acoustics, and has almost 1,000 halls, each of which can accommodate more than 5,000 people. The largest steel arch bridge on earth is also located in Australia - it is the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The tallest building in the southern hemisphere is the Sydney Television Tower.
One of the characteristics of Australians is that 88% of the population lives in cities and towns, and 22% of adults do not have children; 32% of women and 34% of men have never been married. Australia is considered to have the highest literacy rate in the world, as the population reads newspapers more often than people in other countries.
Only in Australia there are animals such as koala, kangaroo, emu, kookaburra. This country has the largest pasture in the world, equal to the territory of Belgium. And the sheep population is much larger than the population of the country. Compare: Australia has approximately 150 million sheep and a population of about 20 million.
One of the interesting facts about Australia is the construction of the world's longest fence. It was erected to protect sheep from dingo dogs in the period from 1880 to 1885. The length of this structure is 5,614 kilometers.
More snow falls in the Australian Alps than in the Swiss Alps. Therefore, winter sports are quite popular here. The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Queensland in the Coral Sea. It is 2,000 kilometers long and is the longest coral reef in the world. The resort islands of the Great Barrier Reef are prestigious and expensive holiday destinations for divers from all over the world.