Australia is in every way a unique and diverse nation-in culture, population, environment, geography, and history.
The geography of Australia ranges from deserts, mountainous, tropical islands, rain forests, lakes, and rivers. The longest river in Australia is the Murray River which is 2375 kilometres long. The Murray River begins in New South Wales, then travels through Victoria and finally South Australia where the Murray Mouth meets the Southern Ocean. The Murray River is home to a variety of wildlife such as platypus, Murray cod, golden perch, trout, and cod. The river is also famous for its paddle steamers and there are paddle steamers that cruise along the river for several days.
Australia’s first inhabitants, the Aboriginal people, are believed to have migrated from some unknown point in Asia to Australia between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago.
While Captain James Cook is credited with Australia’s European discovery in 1770, a Portuguese possibly first sighted the country, while the Dutch are known to have explored the coastal regions in the 1640s.
The first European settlement of Australia was in January 1788, when the First Fleet sailed into Botany Bay under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. Originally established as a penal colony, by the 1830s the number of free settlers was increasing. Transportation of convicts to the eastern colonies was abolished in 1852 and to the western colonies in 1868.
Throughout much of the year, Australia experiences temperate temperatures. Australia’s northern states are usually all-time dry, with the southern states experiencing cold winters but occasionally sub-zero.
Snow falls on the higher mountains during the winter months, enabling skiing in southern New South Wales and Victorian ski resorts, as well as the smaller resorts in Australia’s island state, Tasmania.