Australia is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising of a large island continent , the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world’s sixth largest country but is very sparsely populated. Only 23.6 million people live in Australia, most around the edge near the ocean. This is due to the vast desert that makes up the middle of the continent. Australia rarely experiences sub–zero temperatures, but snow does fall on the mountains in the South East.
Australia has six states, each of which has their own democratic parliament— New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. Australia also has two major mainland territories— the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (which contains Australia’s capital city of Canberra). The most populous states are Victoria and New South Wales, which are home to Australia’s two largest cities (Melbourne and Sydney respectively).
Australia officially became its own country in 1901 as Queen Victoria of England signed the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act. Since then, Australia has had a democratically elected parliament consisting of 226 elected officials. Alongside this, there is the house of representatives and senate. Australia has no official animal, though the kangaroo is featured on the coat of arms. The Golden Wattle is the official flower; green and gold are the national colours.
Other links you might enjoy:
- Countries and Cultures Coloring Pages - Australia - includes a number of maps
- DLTK's Countries and Cultures activities for kids - Australia (crafts, coloring, recipes and more)