Where does the word Australia come from?

Country info: Australia

Australia is a federation and consists of six states, three territories and seven outlying areas. The country extends over two mainland areas, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands.
Australia is one of the oldest land masses on earth and at the same time the flattest of all continents. Large parts of the country are desert-like, i.e. very hot and very dry.
Wherever something edible grows, cattle and, above all, sheep graze. Australia is a world leader in wool production. There are around seven sheep for every inhabitant. Arable farming can only take place where irrigation is possible.
Most Australians live in the cooler cities on the coast.
The country has natural resources that are sold worldwide. The promotion of the many diamonds is particularly important.
Tourism is a major industry in Australia. The work of over 550,000 Australians is directly linked to visiting tourists.
The Dutchman William Jansz was the first known European to reach the north coast of Australia in 1606. In 1770 the land was taken over by James Cook for Great Britain. 700 European prisoners and their guards were brought to the island as the first settlers. When more settlers followed, they displaced the inhabitants who had been living there for centuries. For example, their number fell from around 750,000 Aborigines to 70,000 within 100 years.

From Berlin to the capital Canberra it is 16 071 km as the crow flies.


Inland, west and south it is dry or semi-arid with very hot summers. In the north - around the city of Darwin - and on the Cape York peninsula, it is hot all year round and very humid during the summer monsoon. Only the east and south-east are temperate up to a distance of about 400 kilometers from the coast, as well as the south-west around Perth. Although the island of Tasmania in the south-east of Australia is only the size of Austria, you can find all the landscape and climatic zones that exist here. Rainforest, snow-capped mountains, steppe and picturesque coasts.

National parks and attractions

Purnululu National Park: It is located in Western Australia and is a habitat for many rare plants and animals. The Aborigines give it great cultural significance.
Great Barrier Reef: Tiny coral polyps are the architects of the largest structure on earth, the Great Barrier Reef. Every year in early summer billions of eggs and seeds of the polyps get into the sea and the young animals settle next to and on top of each other.
Cockatoo: This national park is a cultural heritage of extremes. People have lived in this area in the tropical north of Australia for 50,000 years, but today their number has dropped to around 400. Numerous drawings attest to the art and history of the native people of Australia. They are among the oldest in the world. The Aborigines continued this tradition into the recent past.
Uluru: With a height of 348 m and its red sandstone, this rock mass is perhaps the most famous natural monument in Australia. In 1871 the European explorer William Gosse named the rock Ayers Rock.


The peculiarities of the Australian animals are the numerous marsupials, z. B. kangaroos, koalas and wombats. They only live in Australia, Tasmania and the surrounding islands. Marsupials carry and suckle their young in a pouch on their belly.
Another specialty of Australian wildlife is the saltwater crocodile, which lives in brackish water and in the swampy areas of the north. It grows up to 6 meters long and is very aggressive.
A giant worm grows particularly large in the state of Victoria in southeast Australia. It becomes up to 3.5 meters long.


School attendance is compulsory between 6 and 15 years of age (in Tasmania between 6 and 16 years of age); school attendance is free. Primary school lasts 5 years. A peculiarity of the Australian school system is the distance learning by radiotelephone or mail for the students who live hundreds of miles away from each school.


In 1956 Melbourne hosted the XVI. Summer Olympics, in 2000 Sydney hosted the Summer Games.
Cricket and rugby are national sports, and European and Australian soccer footy are also very popular.

Funny law

  • In Victoria you are not allowed to wear pink hot pants on Sunday afternoons.
  • Only state-licensed electricians are allowed to change a lightbulb there.
  • Anyone who owns a bar has to store horses for their customers and take care of them - if they come. That is a norm that still exists.


At the top left you can see a small image of the flag of Great Britain in the flag of Australia. Because Australia used to be a colony of Great Britain. Under their flag there is a large star with 7 points - one for each state. The other stars are supposed to represent the "Southern Cross". This constellation can be seen in Australia all year round.