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Australia is the world`s smallest continent ,but it is a large country.it is the world`s sixth largest country after Russia,Canada ,China,Brazil and the U.S.A.Australia is the only continent that contains one country.I is surrounded by the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean to the east,by the Indian Ocean to the west,by the Coral Sea,the Arafura Sea and Timor Sea to the north,and the Southern Indian Ocean and the Great Australian Bight to the south.It`s the flattest and lowest of the contients and the only continent where people can get to the top of the highest mountain by car .the highest point is Mount Kosciusko above sea level.It is generally divided into three topographical regions-the Great Western Plateau,the Eastern Highlands and the Central Eastern Lowlands.The Outback usally refers to the interior and the centre of the Western Plateau and its northern plains.The Red Centre refers to an area with red-brown and tan soils in the heart of the country. The Australian Alps,the highest plateau in Australia,and the Snowy Mountains lie in the southern part.Mount Kosciusko,the highest peak in Australia,is also located there.The Murray is Australia`s longest river.Lake Eyre is regarded as Australia`s largest lake,but it is known as a part time lake.The Central Eastern Lowlands has the country`s richest farmland and best grazing land.|
Most people live on the cool,wet,forested south-east coastland,but Two thirds of the contient is hot and dry.only the highest peaks of the snowy mountains and Victorian Highlands experience regular winter snowfall and icy conditions.Australia is a dry land ,the lowest annual rainfall occurs at Lake Eyre in South Australia,the highest rainfall is on the eastern coast of Queensland.Drought is a fact of life in Australia.the worst one was between 1885 and 1903,the second most severe drought occurred between 1958 and 1968.why is Australia hot and dry because of the following factors:first most of Australia lies 20 and 35 south. Secondly ,Australia has few mountains.Thirdly,the air masses that affect Australia for most of the year.Finally,distance from the ocean.the climate has a great effect on vegetation.the hot dry conditions that are found over most of the contient are suitable for small plants such as grassed and shrubs rather than forests.The overwhelming majority are immigrants from over30 countries,or their descendants.In recent years Australian governments have encouraged people with different ethnic backgrounds to keep their own cultures,this policy is called multiculturalism.Great Britain has had the greatest influence because Australia was settled as a British colony.Two hundred years after the arrival of the First Fleet,the head of the Australian government is not their Prime Minister,but the Queen of England,while the influence of Britain is still considerable,the increasing influence of other countried is obvious,the United States of America is one such country and Japan is another.Australia is one of the most urbanized countries in the world, 80% of Australians live in the suburbs of coastal cities and towns,with most of these in the narrow coastal strip between Brisbance and Adelaide.The hot ,dry environment of most of the continent contains little water and food,so it could support only small numbers of people,also influence on population distribution.its environment can be divided into two types-the natural and the built.The term”urban sprawl”is used to describe a city that has grown over a large area of land.Among the five cities with a population of more than one million ,four of them(Sydney,Melbourne,Brisbane,Adelaide) are located on the eastern coast while one of them(perth) is on the western coast.In the thinly populated outback,they have been so successful that Australia has ranked first in the world export of wool.Australia is politically divided into six states and two territoried,except for the border between New South Wales and Victoria,part of the New South Wales-Queensland border,and the borders of the Australian Capital Territory(ACT),the Australian political division borders are drawn along straight lines of latitude and longitude instead of along natural features.each of the six states and two territories has an independent access to the sea,Even the Australian Captical Territory has a sea access onJevis Bay.
New South Wales is the oldest of the Australian states,the fouth in size but it has the largest population .it leads the country in industry ,shipping and agriculture.it has more factories than any other state.Sydney , its capital, is the largest city .Voctoria`s economy is based on agricultural and pastoral industries.Melbourne ,the capital of Victoria,is Australia`s second largest city.It is also regarded as the cultural and sports centre of Australia.it has snow-capped mountains in the Australian Alps,lovely valleys and volcanic plains.it is also known as the garden states.Queensland is the second largest and youngest state,it is the third most populous .Brisbane ,the capital ,it is also called the sunshine state because has 7.5 hours of sunshine daily.the sunniest in Australia is Darwin,Brisbane is the gateway to two of Australia `s major tourist playgrounds,the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef.South Australia is the third largest state Adelaide ,the capital of South Australia ,is known for its arts festival.Western Australia is the biggest Australian state,it is known as the state of exictment .Perth ,the capital,is a beautiful city with a perfect climate.Tasmania is the smallest of the Australian states,it is the second oldest of the Australian states.it is often called the holiday isle.Hobart is the capital city,it is a beautiful modern city located at the foot of Mount Wellington,which is often Snow-capped ,it has a deep harbour and a big casino.Cattle-raising is the main industry in Northern Territory.The southern area of the Northern Territory is the famous Red Centre of Australia.Uluru(also called Ayers Rock)has national park and the rock.Darwin is the only large city on the entire northern coast of Australia.ACT was mapped out of the state of New South Wales to be the site of the national capital.”Canberra isa meenting place for the nation and for many international conferences.Canberra is also called ghe garden city because of its beautiful layout.