Australia and New Zealand

26. března 2018 v 20:00 | Another |  Maturita Anglický jazyk

Australia and New Zealand

I should start with Australia or officially Commonwealth of Australia. Australia is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It's located in south-east Asia. It's surrounded by the Indian Ocean in west and south and the Pacific (Coral and Tasman Seas) in the east. Closest neighboring countries include Indonesia, Papua New Guinea in the north and Solomons, Fiji and New Zealand in the east. Its area is around 8 million square kilometers. Australia is the smallest, and the youngest continent, but it's also sixth largest country. Capital city is Canberra and some large cities are Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Australia doesn't have official language, but the national language is of course English. Currency is called Australian dollar. Australian flag has the flag known as Union Jack in the upper quarter, a large seven-pointed star (representing six states of Australia and one territory) and five smaller stars representing the constellation of the Southern Cross.
As I mentioned before, it is the smallest continent in the world but also the sixth largest country by total area. It's often called the "Island Continent" and sometimes even considered the world's largest island. Part of its geography is the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef, lies short distance off the north-east coast and extend for over 2000 kilometers. Another interesting part of Australian geography would be Mount Augustus, which is claimed to be world's largest monolith (geological feature consisting of a single massive stone or rock, such as some mountains). Mount Kosciuszko on the Great Dividing Range is the highest mountain on the Australian mainland. Even taller are Mawson Peak, Mount McClintock and Mount Menzies on some of the islands surrounding Australia. The longest river is the Murray River. There are three big lakes Lake Eyre, Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner. The Australian climate varies from warm to subtropical. It's also significantly influenced by ocean currents. Because of Australia's location it has summer when we have winter and vice versa.
The tropical forests in the north and north-east are displaced by savannah or grassland. The south-east is covered with forests of eucalyptus and other evergreen trees. The animals of Australia are numerous and some of them like the kangaroo, koala bear, dingo, platypus, Tasmanian devil or barking lizards can't be found elsewhere, because of that, these animals are called endemic. Many people outside of Australia are afraid of the animals that live there. At first it sounded like a joke to me, but then I did some research myself and I came to the same conclusion. For example, Australia alone is home to 7 out of 10 most poisonous snakes in the world. It has also the largest and most dangerous spiders, which is the deciding factor of whether I should visit Australia or not if I get the chance. And when you read how even seemingly non-dangerous animals like kangaroos kill a person with a single kick, it's kind of a warning to never get even close to this country.
The population of Australia is some 24 million. The density is one of the lowest in the world. People live in urban areas mainly along the south-east coast. Deserts and the tropical northern part are practically uninhabited. Inhabitants are mainly of British origin, the rest is made by other European ethnic groups and by aborigines. Australian English and aboriginal languages are spoken here. Australia is a British dominion. It has democratic, federal system and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II represented by the governor-General (Sir Peter Cosgrove). The head of government is the Prime Minister (Malcolm Turnbull) and the Cabinet. It has the two typical legislative houses, Senate and House of Commons.
As for some interesting places, I should speak about the Sydney Opera House which is a huge breathtaking building, shaped like huge shells or billowing sails. Sydney Harbour Bridge along with the Opera House, this bridge is one of Australia's most famous icons. Largest steel arch bridge in the world. Great Barrier Reef as I mentioned before, visible from outer space, one of the largest living structures on the planet. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. The Pass at Byron Bay is favorite place for surfing.
New Zealand is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses: North Island (famous for its hot springs, geysers and watering places), South Island (known for High Mountains and the Southern Alps) and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1500 kilometers east of Australia across the Tasman Sea. Capital city is Wellington and other big cities are Manukau, Christchurch and Auckland. Currency is called New Zealand dollar, population is about 4.6 million people and flag is similar to Australian flag-Union jack in upper quarter, a blue ensign with the Southern cross of four white-edged red five-pointed stars (represent the asterism within the constellation of Crux). Official language is English, but some people still speak Maori-which is the language of Polynesian group who settled here in 14th century until the arrival of British colony. New Zealand has a parliamentary system where the head of state is again Queen Elizabeth II represented by the Governor-General (Patsy Reddy). The head of government is the Prime Minister (Jacinda Ardern). It has only one legislative chamber and that's the Houses of Representatives.
As for some interesting places, Sky Tower is observation and telecommunications tower in Auckland. Tallest free-standing structure in Southern Hemisphere. Rotorua is geothermal area known for beautiful natural surroundings, geysers, boiling pools, hot springs, boiling mud and lakes.
Howeever one of the main attraction of New Zealand are the filming locations of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy. These 6 movies are one of the highest grossing movies of all time, which shows just how popular they were ans are tothis day. The movies are jokingly called "The most expensive New Zealand travelling commercial", because of two reasons- first would be that all thee scenery shots in those movies, whether it is the vast meadows or large mountains or lakes, all those were filmed in New Zealand. Second reason is that the filming crew actually made few New Zealand travelling agency commercials in order to promote both New Zealand and the movies themselves. It's no surprise that lot of the filming locations and set were made to be permanent. For example the fictional village called The Shire or on larger scale the Hobbiton is actually build and remains popular place to visit. It's located near the Matamata town.

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