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sábado, 26 de janeiro de 2013


Australia is the biggest island in the world. It is is not included in the list of the largest islands because it  is defined as a continent rather than an island (then the answer would be Greenland). It is both a country and a continent that is low and flat (only 5% of the land is above 600 metres). Most of the country is hot and dry, especially in the centre that is called outback. In some parts it sometimes doesn´t rain for years. Few people live in these areas, but there are large sheep and cattle farms called stations (Australia produces 25 % of the world´s wool – there are around 10 sheep per person). Alice Springs is the largest outback town. Most people live in the south and south-east parts of the country, in the large cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, where the summers are warm and the winters not too cold.
The capital is Canberra- an Aboriginal word meaning “meeting place”. It is the newest city of all.
Although Australia is a big country, almost as big as the USA, the population of Australia is only about 17 million.

The Aborigines
The first people in Australia were the Aborigines, a name given by British to people they found there, when captain James Cook landed on the east coast in 1770. They also demanded the land for Britain and soon began sending convicts to the new country.

Australia Day is on 26 January. It is an official holiday  celebrating national pride and culture.

Strange and beautiful

Uluru or Ayres Rock

It is an enormous rock (3 km long and 348 metres high) 600 million years old. The best time to see it is at the end of the day, when its colour changes from yellow to gold, red and then purple.

The Great Barrier Reef

It is the world´s longest coral reef.


Alice Springs Boat Race

The “boatsmen” stand inside the boats and carry them as they run along the dry river.


The kangaroo is one Australian animal that everybody knows. It can jump more than 4 metres and travel at 70km an hour.

Koalas drink almost nothing. The word itself means “no water”. They live in eucalyptus trees, sleep for 18 hours, and eat one kilo of leaves every day.

In the seas and rivers of northern Australia we can find crocodiles that are 6 metres long. They eat fish, kangaroos…and sometimes people.

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