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Australia lies in the South Pacific Ocean. It is the largest country of Oceania. Its capital is in the city of Canberra. It covers an area of 7, 713, 364 square kilometers. Much of the country is outback, which is dry, flat desert. Rainfall and population density decrease from the coast to the interior, as does the richness of vegetation. Australia's major exports are its primary products --- minerals, wool, wheat and meat. The animals that live only in Australia are the kangaroo, the koala bear, the platypus and the dingo. Its major cities are Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, which are also its chief ports. The name "Australia" comes form a Latin phrase which means "unknown southern land." In 1770, Captain James Cook (1728-1779) explored Australia's east coast and declared the land part of Great Britain. Australia became an independent commonwealth in 1901.

 

澳大利亚是大洋洲最大的国家,领土包括澳大利亚大陆和塔斯马尼亚岛等周围岛屿,面积约7713364万平方公里,居世界第六位。澳大利亚的首都是堪培拉,英语为官方语言。澳大利亚全境平均海拔300,为地表起伏最和缓的大陆。澳大利亚大部分内陆地区是干燥平坦的沙漠,人口多居住在沿海地区。澳大利亚是世界上最大的小麦、羊毛输出国之一,也是重要的铁、铝土、镍等矿产品出口国。澳大利亚的主要城市有悉尼、墨尔本、布里斯班等,大多数是港口城市。澳大利亚这个名字来自拉丁文,意思是未知的南方大陆1770年英国人詹姆斯·库克到达澳大利亚东部沿海地区,并宣布该地区为英国的一部分,此后澳大利亚一直受英国的管辖,直到190111,澳大利亚才获得独立。

 

(本文选自人民教育出版社《中学英语文化背景知识手册》,2008年8月第1版)

    
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