external image 500px-Flag_of_Australia.svg.pngAustralia is a large country in the southern hemisphere (the "bottom half" of the world). Its capital city is called Canberra and its flag is a small Union Flag with white stars on a dark blue background.


It is the sixth largest country in the world, about the same size as the USA or Brazil. It is surrounded by water (the Indian Ocean to the West and the Pacific Ocean to the east) and a few smaller countries, like New Zealand and Indonesia. On a globe, it is almost opposite England (but not quite).

external image australia.gif
Australia is divided into seven territories, which are a bit like "counties" in England (but much bigger):
  • Western Australia
  • South Australia
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • New South Wales
  • Victoria
  • Tasmania


Most of Australia is very hot and dry but the climate is cooler in the south and east, so most people live here. Because Australia is so dry, most cities are near the outside, near the sea, and not many people live in central areas (called the Outback).

When people from Europe first discovered Australia, they found people already living there. Those people are called Aborigines.