Australia-New Zeland

Australia is located in south-east Asia. The Indian Ocean is west and south, the Pacific (Coral and Tasman Seas) is east. Nearest is Indonesia, Papua New Guinea on north, Solomons, Fiji and New Zealand are on east. Its area is 7.7 mil sq. km. Australia is an island continent. The Great Dividing Range along the Eastern coast (The Australian Alps) has the highest Australian mountain Mt. Kosciusko. Arid and hot are the north-western part of Western Australia and northern Territories and also Great Sandy and Great Victoria Deserts. The North-East has heavy rainfalls and Cape York Penninsula has jungles. Rivers (the Murray River, the Darling), Lakes (Lake Eyre, Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner).
The Australian climate varies from warm to subtropical. The Continent is in the southern hemisphere which means that Australia has summer when we have winter and vice versa. The Animals of Australia are numerous and some of them, like the kangaroo, koala, bear, dingo, platypus, Tasmanian devil, wombat cannot be found elsewhere.
    The population of Australia is some 17 million. The density is one of the lowest in the world. People live in urban areas mainly along the south-east coast. Deserts and the tropical northern part are practically uninhabited. Inhabitants are mainly of British origin, the rest is made by other European ethnic groups and by aborigines. Australian English and aboriginal languages are spoken here.   
    Captain James Cook explored the eastern coast in 1770 when the continent was inhabited by a variety of different tribes. Within decades Britain got the entire continent which became a convict colony from 1788 till 1850s when immigration increased because gold was found here. Aborigines and part-aborigines are mostly detribalized but there are several preserves in the Northwest Territory.
    Main industries are iron, steel, textiles, electrical equipment, chemicals, car, aircraft, ship and machinery. Australia belongs to the top exporters of beef, lamb, wool, oats, hay, sugar, wine, fruit and vegetables. Natural riches contain mainly bauxite, coal, copper, iron, lead, nickel, silver, tin, uranium and zinc ores. Currency used in Australia is Australian Dollar.
    The official title is The Commonwealth of Australia and it is a British dominion. It has a democratic, federal system and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II represented by the Governor-General. The head of government is the Prime Minister.
The Commonwealth of Australia consists of 6 states and 2 territories: New South Wales (capital Sydney), Victoria (Melbourne), Queensland (Brisbane), South Australia (Adelaide), Western Australia (Perth), Tasmania (Hobart). The capital of whole country is Canberra.
The Australian national flag consists of the British Flag symbol and a larger blue field in which 5 stars are arranged in the form of the Southern Cross constellation.

    New Zealand consists of two large islands (north and South Island) in south-west Pacific Ocean. Nearest are Australia on west, Fiji, Tonga on north. Its area is 270 tausent sq. km. Each of the two main islands is mainly hilly and mountainous. The east coast consists of fertile plains (Canterbury Plains). A volcanic plateau is in the centre of North Island.
    The population is more than 3 million people. Density is much higher than in Australia. The most of people live in urban areas. People are of European (above all British) origin, the rest are Polynesian. Officially English is spoken here but some people still speak Maori.
    The Maoris, a Polynesian group reached New Zealand before and during the 14th century. The first Europeans were Abel Tasman and James Cook. Now it is an independent member of the Commonwealth.
    Food processing, textiles, machinery and forest industry are the main industries here. Only 2 per cent of land is arable and the main crops is grain. Natural riches are: oil, gas, iron ore and coal. The main trading partners of new Zealand are the USA, Australia, Japan, Great Britain.
    NZ has a parliamentary system where the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II represented by the Governor General. The head of government is the Prime Minister. The country is divided into counties. The capital is Wellington, other big cities are Manukau, Christchurch and Auckland.
The flag consists of the British Union Jack in the left upper corner and 4 red stars in the Southern Cross constellation.

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