Vydáno dne 02.08.2006
Základní informace o kontinentu ‚protinožců‘, kterému se anglicky říká ‚down under‘.
Australia was originally inhabited by Aboriginal tribes. In 1770, Captain Cook claimed the land for Great Britain. In 1788, the first colony was established in New South Wales. Most of the colonists were convicted criminals from Great Britain. Gold was discovered soon thereafter and Australia became a destination for immigrants seeking fortune and a new start in life.
On the far northern coast, Australia is home to one of the amazing sites in the world. The great barrier reef is a water enthusiasts dream. With incredible plant life, the reef is world renowned as a diver's paradise. A watchful eye is advised given the presence of the Great White Shark in the area.
Australia is a Commonwealth. The federal powers are mapped somewhat after those in the United States, but no bill of rights exists. Unlike the U.S., the individual territories retain significant authority over their own affairs.
People in Australia are called "Australians." The country has a population of just over 20 million, and the population is growing at a rate of 1.1 percent a year. Australians ethnicity is 92 percent European, 6 percent Asian and 2 percent Aboriginal. No religion dominates, but 27 percent of Australians considered themselves Roman Catholics. Life expectancy for males is 78 years while females live to 83 on average. Literacy rates are a surprisingly low 85 percent.
Australia was often considered the forgotten country. Long distance transportation changed that designation. Now it is one of the hottest tourist destinations year in and year out.