|s/y Nine of Cups
Australia ... a new country, a new continent
November 2011 - September 2014
|Interesting facts about Australia:
|Commonwealth of Australia
Population: 23 million (est 2013); the lowest population density in the world - only two
Area: 7,686,850 sq km - about the size of the contiguous 48 United States and 50
per cent larger than Europe. It is the sixth largest country in the world and the smallest
High Point: Mt Kosciuszko, 2,228 metres above sea level.
Low Point: Lake Eyre -15 m
Currency: Australian dollar $AUD - a/o 11/2011 $1US = $1.05AUD
a/o 2/2013 - $1 US = $ .89AUD
Time Zones: Eastern Standard Time (EST) +10UTC; Central Standard Time (CST)
+9-1/2UTC; Western Standard Time (WST) +9UTC
The country is divided into 6 states plus 2 territories*: Australian Capital Territory* (ACT),
New South Wales, Northern Territory*, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria,
Western Australia. ACT is comparable to Washington, DC in the USA.
|Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia about 40,000 years
before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial
claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James Cook took possession in the name of
Great Britain. Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they
federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.
|Explore Australia with us as we go. Here are the links for our 2011-2014 travels:
|Aussie movies we recommend:
|Books we liked about Australia:
corrected on our list ... Nicole Kidman was
born in Hawaii to Aussie parents and Mel
Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York! His
family emigrated to Australia when he was 12.
And as for Russell Crowe ... he's a Kiwi.
Thanks, Don, for keeping things straight! ;-)
|See links to our travels below...
|Opal is the national gemstone of Australia, which
produces 97% of the world's supply. The town of
Coober Pedy in South Australia is a major source of
opal. The world's largest and most valuable gem opal
"Olympic Australis" was found in August 1956 at the
"Eight Mile" opal field in Coober Pedy. It weighs
17,000 carats (3450 grams) and is 11 inches (280
mm) long, with a height of 4-3⁄4 inches (120 mm)
and a width of 4-1⁄2 inches
(110 mm). It is valued at
In the Middle Ages,
opal was considered
a stone that could provide great luck because it was
believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone
whose color was represented in the color spectrum
of the opal. It was also said to confer the power of
invisibility if wrapped in a fresh bay leaf and held in
|Commonwealth Coat of Arms
|Though "Waltzing Matilda" is NOT the
Australian national anthem, Advance
Australia Fair is, it is certainly a
well-loved and well-known song closely
associated with Australia. I've been
humming it since we arrived.
Have a listen to the song or take a
look at the lyrics with Aussie
|Aussie- isms (with many more to
come) Aussies like to shorten words.
|At the supermarket...
chook - chicken
courgette - zucchini
capsicum - green or red pepper
aubergine - eggplant
avo - avocado
biscuits - cookies
crisps - potato chips
chips - French fries
turkey shanks - drumsticks