Title: Australia

Level: A2 Elementary


Of the earth’s continents, Australia is the smallest. Aborigines were the first people to live in Australia. It is thought that they arrived around 45,000 to 60,000 years before European settlers. The first Europeans to reach Australia where the Dutch in 1606. It was later claimed as a part of the British Empire by captain James Cook in 1770.

The first European settlers were actually prisoners, because the British Empire used Australia as a penal colony. It was these prisoners that helped build transport systems and towns. However as the years and centuries past Australia has become a nation of many cultures. People from many countries such as Italy, China, New Zealand and Britain have made Australia their home.

Australia’s landscape and climate are varied. You can find tropical rain forests in the north as well as mountains and native bush in many other parts. Even though Australia is surrounded by the ocean and has many beautiful beaches, more than two thirds of its land is a desert environment. Most of the major cities and living areas are on the coast.

Great Barrier Reef

Australia is home to many natural wonders that our world heritage sites. One well known site is the Great Barrier Reef. Not only is it the largest coral reef on earth it is also the largest World Heritage Site. Due to its size, it has been said that the Great Barrier Reef can be seen from space.

The Great Barrier Reef is a protected marine park that is home to many different species of birds, plants, animals and fish. It is also a breeding ground for several of the world’s endangered species. For example you can still find one of these species the green sea turtle, in this area. The islands of the Great Barrier Reef are important nesting grounds for them.

Ayers Rock

Another well-known world heritage site is in the middle of the desert in Australia. Its name in English is Ayers Rock. Its original aboriginal name is Uluru. It is the second largest rock in the world. Uluru is about 9.4 kilometers in circumference, and sits about 340 meters above the ground. More than 80 percent of this giant rock is actually buried under the ground.

To many people, Uluru’s color is red. However, depending on the time of day and the weather conditions, it may appear to be a different color. Although climbing Uluru is legally allowed, the local Aboriginal people ask tourists not to climb it. The reason for this is that the climbing trail crosses over a place that they believe is sacred.

Coober Pedy

Some Australians have interesting lifestyles. In Coober Pedy, which has a desert environment, the locals live in an interesting way. They dig their houses under the ground! Due to the difficult conditions and extreme heat, the people of Coober Pedy decided that living under the ground would be easier. They say that it helps them keep cool in summer and warm in winter.

In the local Aboriginal language Coober Pedy is called “kupa piti”. There is a relationship between the Aboriginal name and the local’s lifestyle. It means “white man in a hole”. Coober Pedy has become a popular place for tourists. Many people go there to see how the locals live and to experience a night in a room under the ground.

Another interesting lifestyle in Australia is that of people who live in the outback. They have flying doctors! Due to the huge size of the Australian outback, doctors have to use planes to visit or transport their patients. Australia is an amazing and beautiful country. No wonder people from all over the world like to visit or make it their home.