Australia’s official name is the Commonwealth of Australia, but because of its extreme location in the Southern Hemisphere, it is nicknamed the Land Down Under.
The capital is Canberra, but Sydney is the largest city and also home to the world-famous Sydney Opera House. The highest recorded temperature is 123.3 degrees on January 2, 1960. Because Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are opposite of those in the United States. Winter begins in June and summer begins in December!
There are a variety of animals found living in Australia. These include the platypus, dingo, opossums, wombats, wallabies, and of course kangaroos.
There are over 50 species of kangaroos; most are gray, but others are red. Other animals in Australia are emus, parakeets, cockatoos, and four species of penguins. There are also many marine mammals, including dolphins, whales, and manatees.
There are many famous tourist attractions in Australia, among them being the Uluru, found in the desert of the Northern Territory. It is basically a huge—and I mean huge—red rock. It stands more than 1,000 feet tall and is nearly six miles around.
Some interesting facts about the Land Down Under:
- Mount Kosciusko
The highest peak in Australia at 7,310 feet.
- The Boomerang
Traditionally used as a hunting tool and is now an object of sporting competitions. If thrown properly, it returns to its starting point.
- Australia’s Population
Most Australians live on the coastline which is
22,800 miles long.
- Australia’s Location
Located almost entirely within the Antarctic Circle, Australia has all sorts of fossils and cave drawings and some of the coolest plants in the world.
- Official Language
Although English is the official language, a quarter of Australians speak something other than English, with Mandarin Chinese being the largest minority language.
- The Great Barrier Reef
Lies off the coast of Queensland and is home to 1,500 species of tropical fish and 40 types of coral.
- The First Inhabitants
Many of Australia’s people came from Europe and Asia, but the Aboriginals were the first inhabitants.
Australia has a population of over 35 million people, and although there are many Christians, there are still 31 Unreached People Groups. Most are part of minority groups practicing Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism. Pray for Australian Christians to reach them with the Gospel.