Physical Australia • The major area of hills and mountains in Australia is the Great Dividing Range.
The Outback • A low area of land called the Western Plateau covers nearly 2/3 of the country. Australians call this area the Outback.
Three deserts cover much of the Outback: The Great Victoria Desert, the Great Sandy Desert, and the Gibson Desert.
These deserts include mammoth rock formations, some as old as 6 billion years.
Great Barrier Reef • One of the world’s most famous natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef,lies just off Australia’s northeastern coast.
Australia is one of the world’s leading producers of: • Wheat • Cattle • Sheep
Australia is one of the world’s leading exporters of: • Beef • Mutton • Lamb • Wool
Other natural resources include: • Uranium • Iron ore • Copper • Lead • Gold • Diamonds • Silver
Climate and Vegetation • Desert: A vast desert region covers the majority of the continent. • Steppe: A ring of steppe climate surrounds Australia’s desert region. Acacia and eucalyptus trees dominate this region. • Humid Subtropical: A moister climate found along the northeast coast
Climate and Weather • Doldrums: frequently windless areas near the equator. These areas can be found in the island nations of Oceania. Winds here can also be very fierce at times. • Typhoons are also common. These are hurricanes that form in the Pacific Ocean.
Vegetation • Acacia: called wattles by early settlers
Vegetation • Eucalyptus Trees: Where you will find koalas.
Vegetation • Manuka: shrubs found in New Zealand
Human Characteristics • Early Peoples: Aborigines
Much like the Native Americans, the Aborigines were greatly affected by white settlement.
The British brought many diseases that the Aborigines were not immune to.
The Aborigines attempted to resist the taking over of their land by the British.
As settlements expanded, the colonists destroyed natural resources to the point that Aboriginal groups could not survive practicing their traditional hunting and gathering ways.
Aboriginal populations declined drastically, and the remaining groups began to live on the fringes of the settlements.
Human Characteristics • Population: Population for Australia is about 18.7 million people. • 85% of Australia’s people live in cities or towns. • Very few people choose to live in the Outback.
Human Characteristics • Population:
Languages • English is the predominant language spoken in Australia. • Strine is the name for the English spoken in Australia.
Ranching • Australian sheep herders are called graziers. • Australian ranches are called stations. • Some stations are as large as 6,000 square miles.
Transportation and Communication • Large parts of the Australian outback are without any roads. • Desert and mountainous terrain make travel difficult • The rail gauges, width between the rails,do not match from state to state. This also makes travel difficult.
Animal Life • The Europeans introduced camels, rabbits, and sheep to Australia. • Australia’s most well-known native animals are all marsupials, meaning they are mammals that give birth to offspring who mature in the mothers’ pouches.