Geographical Position and Climate of Australia

When we hear the word Australia, we imagine boomerang, kangaroo, crocodiles, snakes, etc.

Australia is a vast sub-continental land. It is today an independent member of the Commonwealth, self-governing since January 1, 1901. There are 6 states and an island Tasmania: New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. The capital of the country is Canberra. The biggest city of Australia is Sydney.

It is located in the state of New South Wales. It's the best-known place in Australia. But New South Wales has more than cities. There are, for example, the Blue Mountains. They are covered with forests of blue coloured eucalyptus trees. The air above the forest contains millions of microscopic drops of eucalyptus oil. When the sun shines, the air of the Blue Mountains is a real, beautiful blue colour.

South Australia is the driest of all the states. The only big river in this place is the Murray River. In the early of the Australian history, the Murray River was South Australia's main road. Before real roads and railways came, the river carried people and goods from the east up into the country. Some towns on the Murray still keep the old riverboats, and visitors can ride them.

Tasmania is an island in the south of Australia. It’s not big. It's the same size as England. It also differs from the other Australian states. There are no deserts in Tasmania. It often rains, both in winter and summer. Only half a million people live in Tasmania, and a large part of the island is still covered with wild, beautiful wild forests. These forests are full of wonderful flowers and interesting animals. Once upon a time, there was living a nation of Tasmanian people. They spoke their own language, had own culture. In a few decades after arrival of white people, they disappeared as a nation.

Every year, thousands of tourists visit Ayers Rock that is located in the Northern Territory and a strange group of huge red stones, which are holy to the aboriginals.

Australian seasons are the antithesis of those in Europe and North America (because Australia is south of the Equator): summer starts in December (ends in February), autumn in March (ends in May), winter in June (ends in August) and spring in September (ends in November).

Seasonal variations are not extreme and its rare for temperatures to drop below zero on the mainland except in the mountains.

The country occupies the whole continent, so the climate is different in different regions of the country.

Darwin, in the far north, is in the monsoon belt, where there are just two seasons: hot and wet, and hot and dry.

The southern states are popular during the summer months, but the best time to visit is probably the seasons of spring or autumn when the weather in the south is mild. Spring in the outback can be spectacular if rains encourage wildflowers.

Average annual temperatures vary from about 27 °C in the north of the continent to 13 °C in the south. Floods and cyclones are rather common along the coast of the continent.

Summer (December-February) can get uncomfortably hot just about anywhere, except Tasmania. If you're in the southern states during these months its great beach weather. Up north, this is the wet season, when it's very, very humid and when the sea abounds with box jellyfish.

From June until August things have cooled down a little and dried up a lot up north. This is a good time to visit Queensland or the outback. If you're here for the skiing, now's the time to head for the snowfields of Victoria and New South Wales. Overall, spring and autumn are probably the safest bets - the weather is reasonably mild wherever you are, and spring brings out the wild-flowers in the outback, while autumn is particularly beautiful in Canberra and in the Victorian Alps.

Between the arid interior and the well-watered coasts lies a wide belt with average annual precipitation of about 760 mm.

The Great Barrier Reef on the coast of Queensland is a garden under the sea. There are 1,400 different kinds of fish, and more than 300 kinds of coral. Tropical fruit and flowers grow on the beautiful islands. It's not surprising that more holiday-makers come to Queensland every year.

In the Northern Territory you will find the red heart of Australia. And it really is red, with red rocks, red sand, and red skies in the evening. Every year, thousands of tourists visit Ayers Rock and a strange group of huge red stones called "the Olgas". But these places are also holy to the Aboriginals.

Less than a hundred years ago, there was nothing except sheep in Canberra. But then Australians decided to build a capital city. The Work began in 1913. Now, Canberra is an international city, full of diplomats and government offices. It's a beautiful place, with parks, lakes, big open streets and fine buildings.

Australia is sometimes called "the lucky country". One reason is the wonderful riches under the earth: gold, silver, iron, coal and many precious metals. There are two kinds of gold in Western Australia. First, there's real kind - the kind that comes out of the ground. Gold was found in Kalgoorlie in 1893, and the "Golden Mile" was for a time the most expensive piece of land in the world. Kalgorlie still exports some gold, but the new gold of Western Australia is wheat. Big farms grow millions of tons of wheat every year, and wheat has become Australia's second biggest export.

3. Translate the following word combinations:

Vast sub-continental land, the best-known place, beautiful blue colour, main road, wild beautiful wild forests, strange group of huge red stones, monsoon belt, average annual temperature, the safest bet.

4. Match the sentences according to the information of the text:

1 There are 6 states and an island Tasmania: a is the Murray River.
2The biggest city of Australia is 2bin the south of Australia.
3The Blue Mountains are covered c and a large part of the island is still covered with wild, beautiful wild forests.
4The only big river in this place d a garden under the sea.
5 Tasmania is an island e New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.
6Only half a million people live in Tasmania, f where there are just two seasons: hot and wet, and hot and dry.
7Darwin, in the far north, is in the monsoon belt, g about 27 °C in the north of the continent to 13 °C in the south
8Average annual temperatures vary from h Sydney.
9The Great Barrier Reef on the coast of Queensland is i the red heart of Australia.
10In the Northern Territory you will find j with forests of blue coloured eucalyptus trees.

5. Give the definitions of the following words:

1boomerang a a large reptile with a long mouth and many sharp teeth that lives in lakes and rivers in hot wet parts of the world
2 kangaroo b a specially prepared hard surface for cars, buses, bicycles etc to travel on
3 crocodile c a piece of land completely surrounded by water
4 snake d a natural and continuous flow of water in a long line across a country into the sea
5 road e a hard red, white, or pink substance formed from the bones of very small sea creatures, which is often used to make jewellery
6decade f an Australian animal that moves by jumping and carries its babies in a pouch (=a special pocket of skin) on its stomach
7island g an animal with a long thin body and no legs, that often has a poisonous bite
8river h a large area of land that is covered with trees
9coral i a curved stick that flies in a circle and comes back to you when you throw it, first used in Australia
10forest j a period of 10 years

6. Complete the sentence according to the information from the text:

1. When we hear the word Australia, we imagine ... .

2. It is today an independent member of the Commonwealth, ... .

3. The capital of the country is ... .

4. The biggest city of Australia is ... .

5. South Australia is ... of all the states.

6. Some towns on the Murray still keep ... .

7. ... also differs from the other Australian states.

8. The country occupies the whole continent, so the climate ... .

9. ... are rather common along the coast of the continent.

10. Kalgorlie still exports some gold, but the new gold of Western Australia is ... .

7. Agree or disagree with the following statements:

1.Australia is a vast sub-tropical land.

2. The capital of the country is Sydney.

3.There are 6 states and an island Tasmania.

4.The Blue Mountains are located in the state of New South Wales.

5.Tasmania, the island south of Australia, is small, it is the same size as Canada.

6.There are many deserts in Tasmania.

7.Every year, thousands of tourists visit Ayers Rock and a strange group of huge black stones called "the Olgas".

8.Less than a hundred years ago, there was nothing except sheep in Canberra.

9.Australia is sometimes called "the lucky country".

10.There are three kinds of gold in Western Australia.

8. Answer the questions:

1. What do we imagine when we hear the word Australia?

2. What parts does Australia consist of?

3. What is the capital of the country?

4. Where is Sydney located?

5. What are the Blue Mountains covered with?

6. What is the Murray River known for?

7. Where is Tasmania situated?

8. What is the climate in Tasmania?

9. How many people live in Tasmania?

10. What is a large part of the island still covered with?

11. Why did Tasmanian people disappear as a nation?

12. Who were sent to Australia until it became an ordinary south country?

13. What places do thousands of tourists visit every year?

14. How many kinds of fish are there on the coast of Queensland?

15. What grows on the beautiful islands?

16. Where will you find the red heart of Australia?

17. What is the best known place in New South Wales?

18. Why is the air above the forests blue?

19. Why is Australia sometimes called "the lucky country"?

20. What state is the driest of all?

9. Make up your own sentences according to the model:

1.The biggest city of Australia is Sydney. (составить 2 предложения, смотрите информацию в энциклопедиях), например, The biggest city of Spain is Madrid.

2. Australia occupies the whole continent. (1 предложение), например, Spain occupies the south-eastern part of Europe.

3. In the Northern Territory you will find the red heart of Australia. ( 1 предложение).