Saturday, September 13, 2014

Australia Continent and Oceania Brief Geographical Features

Vast expanses of ocean separates this geographically fragmented realm, characterized more by each country’s isolation than by any political unity.

Australia’s and New Zealand’s traditional ties with United Kingdom, as a member of commonwealth, are now being called into question as Australasian and Oceanian nations are increasingly looking to forge new relationship with neighbouring Asian countries like Japan.

Nuclear weapons-testing by western superpowers was widespread during the cold war period, but has now been discontinued.

In 1946 Bikini Atoll, in the Marshal Islands, was chosen as the site for operation crossroads-investigating the effects of atomic bombs upon naval vessels.
Australia is one of the least densely populated countries on the Earth with over 80% its population living with 40km of the coast-mostly in the south east of the country.

New Zealand and the Island group of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia are much more densely populated, although many of the smaller islands remain uninhabited.

Perth is one of the world’s most isolated cities-over 4000 km from the population centre of the eastern seaboard.

English is spoken throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Outrigger canoes have been used for centuries throughout the pacific island, especially in Micronesia.

Aboriginal languages and cultures are preserved in the central and northern regions of Australia.

The largely unpolluted waters of the Pacific Ocean support rich and varied marine life, much of which is formed commercially. Here, oysters are gathered for market off the coast of New Zealand’s South Islands.

The massive ‘Ok Tedi’ Copper mine was opened in 1988. It is situated in the midst of remote tropical jungle in Papua New Guinea.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest area of coral island and reefs. It runs for about 2000 km along the Queensland coast.

Uluru (Ayers Rock), the world largest free-standing rock, is a massive outcrop of red sandstones in Australia’s desert centre. Uluru is revered as a sacred site by many aboriginal peoples.

Sydney Harbour is one of the worlds’ most spectacular natural harbour, founded in 1788. Sydney was the first major settlement in Australia.

Lake Eyre is the largest of Southern Australia’s dry lakes. Lying- 51 ft- (-16m) below sea level, is has flooded only three times in the last century.

More than 46 million sheep thrive in New Zealand’s mild climate, feeding on the island’ grassy slopes. Their fine meat and wool provide important export income.

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