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Anglický jazyk
Australia and New Zealand
  • Australia: brief history, basic facts, map, flag, places of interest (New South Wales, Canberra, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland)
  • New Zealand: basic information, government, map, flag 

Brief historical notes about Australia

  • Australia was discovered by Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch navigators
  • The Dutch navigator Abel Tasman discovere Tasmania in 1642. An early name for Australia was New Holland
  • Captain James Cook explored the eastern coast in 1770 and landed at Botany Bay
  • Captain Arthur Philip brought the first settlers and convicts from England to New South Wales. It was a penal colony and many of the first permanent settlers were ex-convicts.
  • The discovery of gold in the middle of the 19th century attracted many immigrants and the population increased rapidly. There were six separate colonies.Australia - map
  • In 1901 a new British Dominion known as the Commonwealth of Australia was formed.
  • In September 2000, Australia hosted the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney. The Olympics also directed national attention to many unresolved issues concerning Aboriginal Australians.

Basic facts

  • Capital: Canberra
  • Area: 7,682,300 km2
  • Population: 20,090,473 (2005)
  • Official language: English
  • Money: basic unit - Australian dollar
  • Largest cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide
  • Form of government: Constitutional monarchy, in practise a parlimámentary democracy
  • Head of the state: Queen of the United Kingdom, who is also queen of Australia. In practise, governor general performs functions in queen's absence
  • Head of government: Prime Minister
  • Legislature: parliament of two houses. 76-member Senate and 148-member House of Representatives
  • Australia's flag: has the Union Jack flag, five stars that represent the constellation Southern Cross, and a large star for the country's states and territories
  • Major ethnic/national group: European descendents, chiefly British and Irish, Asian, people from the countries of the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, Indonesians and Aborigines (native Australian people)Australia - flag
  • Major rivers: the Murray and the Darling in the south-east. Many creeks.
  • Elevation: Highest - Mount Kosciusko, Lowest - Lake Eyre (16m below sea level)
  • Climate: Huge central desert, surrounded by semi desert zone. Far north always hot, with heavy summer rainfall. South-west and Adelaide hot, dry summers, mild winters
  • Land: Only country that is also a continent. Lies between the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. Mostly flat, except fro Great Dividing Range.
  • Political subdivisions: Six states and two territories (Western Australia, Southern Australia, Queensland, new South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, territories - Northern Territory, Capital Territory

Chief products

  • Agriculture: sheep, cattle, wheat, wool, milk, barley, forestry - eucalyptus and pine timber
  • Manufacturing: processed food and beverages, iron and steel, chemicals, texties, motor vehicles
  • Major exported goods: coal, wheat, wool, petroleum products
  • Major imported goods: industrial machinery, electrical appliances, telecommunications equipment

Places of interest

  • New South Wales - state in south eastern Australia including Sydney - largest city (Opera House - looks like waves when they break on the beach)
  • Canberra - national capital since 1927, designed mostly by American architect Walter Burley Griffin
  • Victoria - state in far south-eastern Australia, including Melbourne
  • Tasmania - covered by national parks
  • Queensland - Kakadu National Park- crocodiles, water birds, kakadu; Ayers Rock in Uluru National Park; Great Barrier Reef - world's longest coral reef - 2,000 km


New Zealand

  • island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, it include two large islands (North and South)New Zealand - flag
  • scenic landscape of snow-capped mountains (the highest one is Mt. Cook) and rolling green pastures
  • The capital is Wellington, the largest and most cosmopolitan city is Auckland
  • Polynesians first settled on the islands of New Zealand about 800 to 1000 years ago naming the islands Aotearoa („Land of the Long White Cloud"). Their descendats are the Maori.
  • The first European settlers came from the United Kingdom and in 1840 NZ became a British colony.
  • In 1907 New Zealand became a self-governing dominion within the British Empire
  • Nowadays New Zealand is an independent nation and a full member of the British Commonwealth
  • Animals: giant ostrich like moa (extinct), flightless birds, kiwi (nocturnal bird → national emblem)
  • New Zealand is an agricultural country, it is the second largest exporter of wool in the world
  • Form of government: Parliamentary democracyNew Zealand - map
  • Head of state: Governor-general, representing the British monarch
  • Head of government: Prime minister
  • Legislature: House of Representatives, 120 members

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