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Political & Physical Features of Australia. Unit 10 Notes. I. Australia’s Political Features. Australia… . Is divided into territories and states: States: Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland

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  • Is divided into territories and states:
    • States: Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland
    • Territories: Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory
  • Island off the southeast coast of the mainland
  • Almost half of Tasmania is unspoiled land that is protected by the government
  • State closest to Tasmania
    • Southeast part of the mainland
  • Capital is Melbourne; it’s the most urban state in Australia
  • The many rivers of the region are a good source of fresh water for farming
south australia
South Australia
  • State in south-central Australia
  • The Great Victoria Desert is located here…
western australia
Western Australia
  • Largest state; makes up 1/3rd of the mainland
  • Most of Western Australia is desert (Great Victoria Desert and Great Sandy Desert are located here)
new south wales
New South Wales
  • North of Victoria, on the eastern coast
  • Has more people than any other Australian state
    • The capital, Sydney, is the most populated city in Australia -- 3 1/2 million people live there!
  • Australian Capital Territory is located here
  • Second largest state; 7 times the size of England!
  • In the northeastern part of the mainland
  • Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast in the Coral Sea
  • More than half of Queensland’s population lives in the capital: Brisbane
northern territory
Northern Territory
  • Northern coast of the mainland, between Western Australia and Queensland
  • Largest population of Aborigines in Australia
australian capital territory
Australian Capital Territory
  • Located in New South Wales
  • The national capital, Canberra, is located here
  • The only country on the world’s smallest and flattest continent…
  • Has Earth’s oldest and least fertile soils
  • Only Antarctica receives less rainfall!
  • Commonwealth of Australia also includes Tasmania, an island south of the mainland
  • It’s surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans
Huge desert plains stretch across the country’s middle--central Australia’s climate is hot and dry
  • Milder climates along the southeastern and southwestern coasts
  • Most Australians live in the southeastern coastal region
great barrier reef
Great Barrier Reef
  • World’s largest coral reef!
  • Lies off the northeast coast of Queensland--over 1,200 miles long
  • Contains an amazing variety of marine life, including the world’s largest collection of coral
    • 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish, & 4,000 mollusks (snails, clams, octopi, & squid)
    • Also includes rare species like the sea cow and the large green turtle
coral sea
Coral Sea
  • An important source of coral for the Great Barrier Reef
    • Part of the Pacific Ocean
    • Off the northeast coast of Australia
  • When the earth’s crust moved millions of years ago, it created the Coral Sea and the Great Dividing Range (largest mountain range in Australia)
  • Coral Sea islands are scattered over thousands of miles of ocean--no one lives on the islands except for a small group of weather specialists
ayers rock
Ayers Rock
  • A huge, reddish rock in the center of Australia
    • Very close to the geographic center of the continent…
  • It’s a monolith, which is a single, large rock sticking out of the earth
  • Appears reddish because its iron content “rusts” at the surface
  • Nearly 12 stories high and almost 6 miles wide!
ayers rock1
Ayers Rock
  • Aborigines call it “Uluru”, which is its official name
  • European surveyor visited the rock in 1873 and named it after Sir Henry Ayers, an English government official in South Australia
  • In 1950, Australia created Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park around Ayers Rock
    • Both are located in the southwest corner of the state called Northern Territory
great victoria desert
Great Victoria Desert
  • Stretches through the states of South Australia and Western Australia
  • Receives only 8 to 10 inches of rain each year, and it never snows!
  • Some grasslands in the desert along with sandhills and salt
great victoria desert1
Great Victoria Desert
  • First Europeans to cross the desert named it after British Queen Victoria in 1875
  • 160,000 miles long & is a protected wilderness area
  • Very few Australians live here because it’s too hot and dry