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Chapter 20 Section 1. The land Down Under. The Land Down Under. Sometimes called the “Land Down Under,” Australia is a country and a continent located in the Southern Hemisphere. Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef lies off Australia’s northeastern coast .

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chapter 20 section 1

Chapter 20 Section 1

The land Down Under

the land down under
The Land Down Under
  • Sometimes called the “Land Down Under,” Australia is a country and a continent located in the Southern Hemisphere.
great barrier reef
Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef lies off Australia’s northeastern coast.

A coral reef is a structure formed by the skeletons of small sea animals.

Coral formations have piled up for millions of years to create a colorful chain that stretches 1,250 miles.

the outback
The Outback
  • The people of Australia use the name outback to refer to the inland regions of their country.
  • Mining camps and cattle and sheep ranches, called stations, dot the outback region.
the weather
The Weather

Because of the country’s location in the southern Hemisphere, summer starts in December and winter starts in June.

  • Two famous Australian animals are kangaroos and koalas.
  • Both are marsupials, or mammals that carry their young in a pouch.
their economy
Their economy
  • It is a treasure chest overflowing with mineral resources.
  • These riches include iron ore, zinc, bauxite, gold, silver, opals, diamonds, and pearls.
  • Australia’s main agricultural activity is raising livestock, especially cattle and sheep.
  • It is the world’s top producer of wool.

Australia’s Aborigines are the descendants of the first immigrants who came from Asia at least 40,000 years ago.

One of their weapons for hunting was the boomerang.

  • The Dutch were the first Europeans to travel to Australia in the late 1600s.
  • The British claimed Australia in 1770, and at first used it as a colony for prisoners.
there s gold in them hills
There’s gold in them hills!
  • After gold was discovered in 1851, many British settlers came and took land from the Aborigines.
  • In 1901 the independent Commonwealth of Australia was formed.

Australia has a British-style parliamentary democracy.

A prime minister heads the government, and the British monarch is a ceremonial leader.


Sydney and Melbourne are Australia’s largest cities.

About 10 percent of Australians live in rural areas known as the bush.