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Visiting Australia... The Land Down Under Click on the arrow to get to next page. Anywhere in the presentation... Click on the arrows to get to the next or previous slide. Click on the house to get to the main menu. Main Menu Geography Food Language Schooling Religion

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Visiting Australia...

The Land

Down Under

Click on the arrow to get to next page.


Anywhere in the presentation...

Click on the arrows to get to

the next or previous slide.

Click on the house to

get to the main menu.


Main Menu

  • Geography
  • Food
  • Language
  • Schooling
  • Religion
  • Aussie Animals
  • Outback QUIZ!
  • History of Australia
  • Australia Today
  • Bibliography

States & Territories


The Land

The Water


Where in the world can you find

an island,

a continent, and

a country

all at the same time?


...that's where!!

Click here to learn more about Australia’s geography.


States & Territories

  • Australia is the smallest of the world’s seven continents.
  • It has six states and two territories.
  • Five of the six states- Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia- are on the continent.
  • The Northern Territory sits in north central Australia.
  • The Australian Capital Territory in southeastern Australia includes the country’s capital city of Canberra.

Click here for geography homepage.


The Water

  • Australia is an island.
  • It is surrounded by water on all sides.
  • The pacific Ocean is to the East.
  • The Indian Ocean is to the south and west.
  • The Tasman Sea cuts between Australia and New Zealand.
  • The Coral Sea is on the northwestern coast.
  • The Timor Sea and the Arafura Sea separate Australia from Indonesia and from Papua New Guinea, Australia’s closest neighbor to the north.

*Click here to learn more about Australia’s water.

Click here for geography page.


Click here for more about the land.

  • A low chain of mountains called the Great Dividing Range, runs from Cape York Peninsula in the north, almost to the city of Melbourne in the south.
  • Near the southern end is Australia’s highest point, Mount Kosciusko.
  • West of the mountains lies the Great Western Plateau.



Australia's Deserts

  • Great Sandy Desert
  • Great Victoria Desert
  • More than half of Australia is desert, which Australians call “the outback.”

Click here for Geography homepage.


Amazing Aussie Animals!

  • Kangaroo
  • Koala bear
  • Platypus

The Kangaroo

The kangaroo is a part of the marsupial family. Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch on their belly. Kangaroos hop through the forests and grasslands of southern and eastern Australia.

Click here to learn more about Aussie Animals.


The Koala Bear

The koala bear isn’t really a bear! It is a cousin of the kangaroo. Koalas love to eat leaves from Australia’s native eucalyptus trees.

Click here to learn more about Aussie Animals.


The Platypus

The platypus is a strange-looking mammal found in rivers and streams in southeastern Australia. It has fur and feeds milk to its young like mammals do. But it lays eggs like snakes and birds do!

Click here to learn more about Aussie Animals.


An Australian brekkie being cooked over an open fire in the outback!

Aussie Tucker

  • Tucker is the Australian word for food.
  • Australians are crazy about outdoor barbecues, or “barbies.” You might be surprised by their favorite hamburger topping- a slice of beet, called “beetroot.”
  • Breakfast or “brekkie” as Australians call it can consist of cereal, toast, and coffee or tea. Sometimes they have eggs, baked beans, and sausages, also known as “bangers.” Australians may even eat spaghetti on toast for breakfast!


The First Australians

Becoming Australia


Speaking Strine

  • Australia’s official language is English.
  • However, Australians have their own accent called “Strine.”
  • Other languages spoken in Australia are German, French, and Japanese.
  • About 30 Aboriginal languages are still spoken, as well.

Click here to learn more about “Strine.”


Here are some Strine words & their English meanings.


barbie barbecue

blue argument

bonzer fantastic

chook chicken

Crissie Christmas

fair dinkum really

g’day good day

lollie friends

mates friends

nicked stole

Oz Australia

postie postal worker

sticky beak nosy person

tea dinner

telly television


The First Australians

Australia’s native people are known as Aborigines, which means “from the beginning.” It is believed that their ancestors sailed southward from Asia to Australia a long time ago. Clues show that Aborigines may have arrived 75,000 years ago! Aborigines traveled from place to place in search of food. They used tree branches to build temporary shelters that could be put up quickly wherever they stopped.

Click here to return to history homepage.


The Flag

  • The Australian flag flies the British flag colors in its upper lefthand corner.
  • The right side of the flag holds the five stars of the Southern Cross- a star formation seen in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • A seven –pointed star stands for the six states and the Northern Territory.

Click here to return to history homepage.


Did you know...

  • Australia is often called the Land Down Under because of its location. It sits in the Southern Hemisphere (the half of the earth that lies south of the equator.)
  • The word Australia means “southern place.”
  • Seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are opposite those in the Northern Hemisphere. So when it’s summer in the U.S., it’s winter in Australia!

Click here for geography homepage.


The Aborigines had Australia to themselves for thousands of years. However, in 1780, Captain James Cook landed on the shores of the continent. He took over the land in the name of his home country, Great Britain and Australia became a British colony.

  • About eight years later, ships filled with British citizens and prisoners floated into Australia’s Botany Bay. During their prison terms, the convicts helped build the colony’s first farms and settlements. Many stayed in Australia after serving their sentences and farmed the land or worked in city industries.
  • Soon, many more settlers came. These people and their descendants are one of the reasons why Australia has such strong tries to Great Britain, and is a member of the British Commonwealth.

Click here to learn more about Australia’s flag.


Australia Today

  • These days Asians are Australia’s fastest growing group of immigrants. Many people from China, India, Japan, Vietnam, and other Asian countries come to Australia in search of a better life.
  • As you can see, Australia has an extremely diverse culture!

Off to School!

  • Kids in Australia begin their school year near the end of January, when kids in other parts of the world are already halfway through!
  • There are three vacations of one to two weeks splitting the school year into four parts. Students also have a six-week vacation beginning in mid-December, when it’s summer in Australia.

Click here to learn more about schools in Australia!


Australia's School of the Air

  • Children who live on ranches, in mining camps, or in Aboriginal settlements are provided with a three-way radio. That way they can listen and speak to their teachers and classmates.
  • They can even take music lessons, playing their instruments over the radio!
  • Teachers visit each student’s home at least once a year. Tests and other projects are mailed back and forth.

Religions in Australia

  • About three out of every four Australians practice some form of the Christian religion.
  • About 8% of Australians are Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or Sikh.
  • Some Australians say that they belong to no religion at all.

Click here to learn more about religion.



  • Aboriginal religious beliefs are sometimes called the Dreamtime.
  • During this time, Aborigines believe that powerful spirits moved about the earth creating the different landforms, such as mountains, rivers and deserts. They also created animals and humans and gave people laws and customs. When the spirit creatures had finished creating, they disappeared.
  • Elders have the responsibility of passing on their culture. They use traditional dance and song to explain nature and history to the young people.

Way to go!

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1. Why is Australia referred to as the Land Down Under?

a. It is located underground.

  • It is located in the Southern Hemisphere.

c. It is located under water.

d. All of the above.



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back to the question.


2. What word do Australians use to refer to food?

a. Chow

  • Grub

c. Tucker

d. None of the above.


Sorry, that is incorrect.

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back to the question.


4. Australia’s kangaroo is a marsupial, which means…

a. it hops to get around.

  • it carries its young in a pouch.

c. it eats eucalyptus leaves.

d. it lays eggs like birds and snakes.


3. Australia is the only continent…

a. that is also a country.

  • that is bordered by an ocean.

c. that is also an island.

d. both a & c


5. Australians call their language ________.

a. Strine

  • Twine

c. Aussie Talk

d. Crissie


6. Dreamtime refers to…

a. night time in Australia.

  • bed time for children in Australia.

c. Aboriginal religious beliefs.

d. none of the above.


7. A special type of schooling in Australia is called _______.

a. School of the Outback.

  • School Down Under.

c. School of the Air.

d. None of the above.


8. In 1780, Captain James Cook landed in Australia and...

a. had a picnic.

  • started a war.

c. took prisoners back to his homeland.

d. took over the land and made it a colony of Great Britain.


9. What types of people live in Australia?

a. Aborigines

  • Japanese & Chinese

c. Vietnamese & Indian

d. All of the above.


10. In Strine, what does the word “barbie” mean?

a. A popular doll

  • A barbecue

c. A piece of candy

d. A postal worker


You're a Winner!

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Way to go!

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...that means "Fantastic" in Strine!

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McCollum, Sean. (1999) Australia. Minneapolis,

MN: Carolrhoda Books, Inc.



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The Great Barrier Reef

  • The Great Barrier Reef is an underwater seawall that stretches for about 1,250 miles along Australia’s northeastern coast.
  • It is like one big fish tank! It is so enormous, astronauts have spotted it from outer space!!
  • The seawall is actually a chain of over 2,500 reefs made up of rocks and coral.
  • The colorful coral is made from a liquid given off by trillions of little sea creatures called coral polyps. The liquid eventually hardens to a shell-like material.
  • There are over 1,500 species of fish that live there!

Thank you

for being

a wonderful