Subject: Social Studies
Australia is both a continent and country. It is an island and lies fully in the Southern Hemisphere, crossed by the Tropic of Capricorn from the center. It is the smallest of all continents but one of largest countries. The population is less than in Nepal, made up of aboriginal people and immigrants from all over the world but still resulting in lowest density. 95% of people live in towns and cities near the coast.
Australia is a continent with least varied land forms. Only 6% of its area is above 610 m from the sea level. Still it can be divided into three physical zones. The west is plateau few meters high up to the sea. The center is the Great Australian Plain which borders the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north and the Great Australian Bight in the south. A narrow strip of land in the east from north to south is mountainous. It is known as the Eastern Highlands or the Great Dividing Range. The coastal band in this area is the Great Barrier Reef, a chain of more than 2500 reef and several small islands. Mt. Kosciusko at an altitude of 2228 m in the south of the Eastern Highlands in New South Wales is the highest peak. The Murray-Darling river system is the only permanent natural drainage. Underground streams and artesian wells are important. Australia also includes Tasmania, a triangular island in the south-east of the mainland. New Zealand to the east in the Pacific Ocean is a different country.
Australia is the driest continent. The vast majority of the land is flat, dry and hot. Still there are remarkable variations. In the far-north, it is hot, wet and stormy, with tropical forests. A vast area in the middle is hot and dry. In the far south, summers are hot and dry but with cool, wet winters. It is the Mediterranean type of climate, finest of world's climate. Tasmania is cool and wet all the time. In Tasmania and in the Australian Alps snow is ever seen.
Australia has peculiar plant and animal life. Vegetation can be divided into three main zones. The northern marginal areas and north-west part have tropical monsoon forest. The center of the continent is covered with savanna grassland characterized by grass and scattered trees. There are varieties of temperate forests in the south. Eucalyptus and jarreh are two important species of trees. The plants and wildlife such as koala bears, kangaroo, platypus, wombat, kookaburra and lyrebird are some unique to this land. They are a source of wonder to every tourist who visits the national park. 20% of the whole continent is protected like this.
There is very intimate relationship between climate and vegetation. It is proved by the climate and vegetation of Australia. There is dense forest in the area of heavy rain and hot climate in Australia. There are various kinds of trees, vegetation and animals. Eucalyptus trees of Australia have provided economic gain through providing the medicine oils. There is grassland in monsoon climate zone. Vegetation has grown as suitability of climate. Plants cannot grow against the climate. So we can say that there is a deep relationship between climate and vegetation.
The seasons of Australia and Asia are just opposite. Its main cause is the effect of sun or its location. The earth's axis is tilted about 23.5 degrees, so the Earth is never straight up and down compared to the Sun. When it is summer in Asia, that is because the North Pole and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere are pointing toward the Sun and Australia is pointing away from the sun. The Sun appears to stay in the sky longer each day (really, we are just pointed toward the Sun for longer each day). Because we spend more time in the sunshine and less in the shadow of night, our part of the Earth gets warmer, and we experience summer. The case reverses for summer in Australia and winter in Asia.
The coast of lake Eyre is the lowest place which is 15 m deep below the sea level.
Mt. Kosciusko is the highest peak which is about 2228 m high.
© 2019-20 Kullabs. All Rights Reserved.