Australia is an amazing country and this Australia information for kids page will give you all that you want to know about Australia. Australia is the smallest continent among the seven continents of the world and is the only continent that is also a country. According to land area, Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. It is situated below the equator and is an island continent. Australia has a rich history, different climate conditions, amazing culture, landscapes, unique plants and many indigenous animals. With such an immense area, Australia has a huge variety of breath taking landscapes, mountain ranges, rainforests and deserts.
Australia Information for Kids
Official Name: Commonwealth of Australia
Capital City: Canberra
Official Symbol: Coat of Arms of Australia
National Anthem: Advance Australia Fair
Currency: Australian Dollar
Independence Day: 1 January, 1901
- The first people to arrive in Australia were the Aboriginal Australians, who came to Australia between 40,000 to 60,000 years ago from the South-East Asia. These people established a rich culture of traditions that are still practiced nowadays.
- The Dutch were the first among the Europeans who to land on Australia back in the year 1606.
- The British came to this continent in 1770 and made settlement at Sydney.
- The first British penal colony was established in 1788.
- Various conflicts aroused among the indigenous people and the foreign visitors in which the indigenous people were defeated.
- The number of indigenous people was greatly reduced due to the introduction of the diseases brought by the foreign visitors.
- The first parliamentary democracy was established in the mid of 19th century when Australia began to prosper due to the industrialization of agriculture and the gold rush.
- In the year 1901, all the British colonies through a referendum voted for a united federation and thus modern Australia was formed.
Government – Australia Information for Kids
- Australia is a democratic country.
- Australian government is a constitutional monarchy which means that parliamentary system of government is practiced with Queen Elizabeth II as the Queen of the country. The queen is represented by her viceroys as she lives in the United Kingdom.
- The Constitution of Australia is the ultimate authority and the Governor General has the authority to exercise its power.
Geography – All About Australia for Kids
Australia has a very diverse geography including high snow covered mountains, vast deserts and tropical rain forests.
- Australia is an island continent and a country as it is surrounded by oceans.
- The total land area of Australia is 2.97 million square kilometres making it the smallest continent and the sixth largest country in the world.
- The neighbouring countries of Australia include New Zealand in the south-east, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia in the east, and Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Indonesia in the north.
- It is situated between the South Pacific Oceans and the Indian Ocean.
- The total coast line of Australia mainland is 22,292 miles and that of the island coastline is 14,825 miles.
- In the centre of Australia lies the dry desert, mountains are in the east, south-west and south-east while the rainforests are in the north-east.
- It is the flattest continent among the seven continents of the world.
- At the north-east coast of Australia lies the 1240 miles long world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef.
- In western Australia there is the world largest single rock mountain, the Mount Augustus.
- The highest mountain is the Mount Kosciuszko which is 7310 feet high.
Australia has a climate that varies according the geographical location, ranging from equatorial, tropical, sub-tropical to desert,grassland and temperate climate.
- Largest part of Australia is desert which is situated in the middle of the continent where the climate is hot.
- Temperate climate is only at the south-west and south-east.
- At the northern part of the country the climate ranges from equatorial, tropical, sub-tropical and desert.
- Australia receives very less rainfall as compared to the other continents. It receives more rain in winter than in summer.
- Snow falls in the highland situated in the states of Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and the Capital Territory.
Plants and Animals – Australia Information for Kids
When it comes to plants and animals, Australia hosts nearly about 1 million native species of which more than 80% are only found in Australia.
- There are about 27700 plant species and 250,000 species of fungi in Australia.
- Some of the species of the plants are pre-historic dating back to the time of dinosaurs.
- There are 4000 different species of fish and 50 different types of marine mammals and huge variety of sea-birds.
- The animal species count in Australia is as under:
Mammals: 378, Birds: 828, Lizards: 300, Snakes: 140, Crocodiles: 2
- Half of all the mammals in Australia are marsupials i.e. they carry their young ones in pouch attached to their body
- Australia is famous for Kangaroo, Wallaby, Wombat, Dingo, Koala, Echidna and Duck-bill Platypus.
Population and People – All About Australia for Kids
Australia has a population of about 23 million consisting of the original inhabitants, descendants of migrants and new migrants from about 200 countries.
- The original inhabitants were the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander whose culture and traditions are considered to be one of the oldest in the world.
- The original inhabitants have been living in Australia for 40,000 to 60,000 years ago.
- The population of the original inhabitants was about 548,370 in 2011 census.
- The population of Australia mainly consists of English, Australian, Irish, Scottish, Italian, German, Chinese, Indian, Greek, and Dutch.
- English is spoken by 81% of the population and the other languages spoken include Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Vietnamese and Hindi.
- 70 indigenous languages have survived till now.
- Australia has no state religion and according to the 2011 census 61% of the population is Christian, 22% has no religion, 2.5% are Buddhists, 2.2% are Muslims, 1.3% are Hindus and 0.5% follow Judaism.
- The literacy rate of Australia is 99% while that of Tasmania is 50%.
- It ranks fourth in the world in life expectancy.