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Traditional Chinese

澳洲 - 地理 Australia - Land

Good Day Mates! Welcome to Window on the World. Today we'll open our window on the "Land Down Under." Do you know what country I'm talking about? I'll give you a few more clues - then see if you can guess. This country in South East Asia is an island and the world's smallest continent. It has the world's largest coral reef off its coast. You might see kangaroos and koala bears living there. Have you guessed where we'll visit today? I'm sure by now you are saying... AUSTRALIA!

Well, you are absolutely correct! The island country of Australia is an interesting place to visit. The country's official name is the Commonwealth of Australia. It's capital city is in Canberra. The small island state of Tasmania is also part of this nation. Australia is about 7,713,300 square kilometers.

Australia is surrounded by the Timor Sea, the Arafura Sea, the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Torres Strait on the northern coasts. The Coral Sea and the Tasman Sea are on the east and the Indian Ocean is on the west and in the south. The southern coasts are also surrounded by the Bass Strait and the Great Australian Bight. The Great Barrier Reef is known as the world's largest coral reef. It is 2,012 kilometers long. This is a popular tourist sight especially for divers and is located off the northeastern shore. I bet you could see some beautiful ocean creatures!

The interior of the country is mostly great plains known as the "Outback." The Eastern Highlands or Great Dividing Range is a mountainous area that separates the coastal plains region from the Outback. In the western part of Australia, you can even find several desert areas known as the Great Sandy Desert, the Gibson Desert, and the Great Victoria Desert.

The Australian climate varies greatly from one region of this island continent to another. The north is somewhat tropical compared to the cooler southern areas. The warmest months are January and February because these are Australia's summer months. June and July are the coldest winter months. This sounds unusual to me but I understand that countries like Australia, that are located south of the equator, have their seasons just the opposite of northern countries.

Wow, I sure have lots to learn about Australia. I hope you will listen again next week to find out all about the people who live on this island continent when we open our Window on the World again! Goodbye friends!

- updated every Wednesday afternoon -




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