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Australia: Land Down Under

             There is more to Australia than just kangaroos, koala bears, and interesting accents. Australia is filled with history, geography, and many hidden, interesting facts. One must become a part of its society in order to really experience the "Land Down Under.".
             Australia could literally be defined as the "Land Down Under" simply because it is one of the worlds flattest landmasses (Encarta). With an average elevation of only 1,000 feet, the country consists of Great Plains and low plateaus. To the east, Australia has a natural divider in the form of a mountain range. With a unique height of 4,000 feet, the Great Dividing Range, or Eastern Highlands, separates the coast from the inland territory. But, there is one peak in all of Australia that surpasses these tall mountains. The peak of Mount Kosciusko stands taller than any other peak in Australia at 7,000 feet. With all this dry, flat land, curiosity sets in as to who was able to begin life in Australia. .
             The Aborigines were the first group to inhabit Australia, which is located in the South East Asian region. They stepped on Australian ground more than 30,000 years ago. The Aborigines stayed isolated from the rest of the world up to the early 1600's, when Europeans discovered the new land. In 1688, Englishman William Dampier landed, but was not impressed with resources. It was not until 1770, when Captain James Cook discovered the east coast, which was very fertile. He sailed North to the coast, and claimed the territory for Great Britain. Soon enough, in 1788, the first British settlement was made on the ground of what is now the popular city of Sydney. As the settlement grew to a stable society, colonization has occurred and an economical system had even started. All of these accomplishments paved the way for 1901, when all the colonies came together to form the Commonwealth of Australia. Now that Australia was acting as one, the country could begin to grow as one active unit.

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