Australia and New York

  • Added:
    Feb 04, 2013
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New york skyline
New york skyline
Photo by rakkhi

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. However, less than 20 million people live there. The first people there were the Aborigines. They arrived in Australia about 10, 000 years ago, during the last Ice Age. At that time sea levels were lower and people could easily cross from Asia. When sea levels rose again, Australia was cut off, until it was discovered by a Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, in the late 17th century. Today, only 1.5% of Australia`s population are Aborigines. The name, Australia, comes from the Latin terra australia, which means southern land. In the 18th century the British explorer, captain James Cook, claimed the land for Britain.

At first Australia was used as a prison. Criminals from Britain were sent there. Later other people from Britain and Ireland went to live there. The British influence is still very strong. The official language is English, cars drive on the left, and the national game is cricket. In recent years, however, many immigrants have come from other European countries and from Asia, too. Australia was cut off from the other continents a long time ago, so a lot of Australia`s animals, like the kangaroo, the koala and the platypus aren`t found anywhere else.

Australia also has some of the most dangerous animals in the world. There are poisonous snakes and spiders. Several people are bitten every year, and schoolchildren have to learn first aid for snake and spider bites. In the north there are huge saltwater crocodiles and in the sea, around the coast, there are sharks and poisonous jellyfish. The largest city is Sydney with its famous Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

The 2000 Olympics were held in Sydney. Sydney, however, isn`t the capital of Australia. The capital is Canberra. Australia is a huge country – approximately 4, 000 km across, but most Australians live in the south-east corner between Sydney and Melbourne. This is because 90% of the land is very dry. Australians call this dry area the outback. There are some huge farms there withmillions of sheep and cattle. There are nine sheep for every person in Australia. The children who live on these farms can`t go to school, because the nearest town is too far away. The study at home with the School of the Air. They talk to their teacher by radio and, nowadays, by telephone, the Internet and webcams, too. There is also a ‘flying doctor’ service. The doctor comes to you by plane.

Australia is a rich country. Meat, fruit, vegetables, wool and wine are produced. Gold, silver, iron, copper, coal and diamonds are found there, too.

New York is the most famous city in the world. There are songs about it. It`s in hundreds of films and TV programmes. Think of America and you think of ‘The Big Apple’ – New York. The centre of New York is the island of Manhattan. Today the island is full of skyscrapers, but 400 years ago it was the home of the Delaware Indians. The first Europeans to arrive were from the Netherlands. In 1626, a Dutchman, Peter Minuit, bought the island from the Indians for just 24 dollars and built some houses there. He called it New Amsterdam. However, in 1664, the British took it and they called it New York, because the King`s brother was the Duke of York. Over the next 300 years, New York grew into the largest city in the USA. People from countries like Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland and china came to find a new life there.

There are countless things to do and places to go in New York – museums, art galleries, theatres and nightclubs, plus thousands of restaurants and shops, including the biggest shop in the world, Macy`s. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France and it stands on Liberty Island. You can get a ferry to the island and visit the statue. The Empire State Building is the most famous skyscraper in New York. It was built in 1931, and it was the tallest building in the world for forty years. It has 102 floors, and on a clear day you can see for 120 km from the top. Times Square is the entertainment centre of New York. It is full of theatres, bars and restaurants.

On New York`s Eve, New Yorkers come to Times Square to celebrate the New Year. In the middle of Manhattan is Central Park. Here you can walk, take a boat on the lake, play baseball or just relax away from the noise and the traffic. Central Park is bigger than two European countries – the Vatican and Monaco.      






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