The region is very “motley ” both politically and economically. Highly developed Australia and New Zealand coexist with small island countries, which only in the 20th century gained independence, and some still remain colonies.
The largest part of the land in the region is Australia. He’s the smallest of the continents. It has an area of 7.6 million sq km. the Name Australia originated in ancient times. Then geographers were convinced that in the southern hemisphere there is Terra Australis Incognita — unknown southern land. As they guessed it — is not specified, probably, calculated.
But they were right, this land was discovered and originally called New Holland. But 1814 has renamed in Australia. Europeans were not the first settlers in Australia or the region at all. Studies show the presence of man in Australia for the past 40 thousand years.
The climate of Australia is multifaceted-the territory is not small. Most of the continent lies in the tropics, in the North Equatorial climate, and the South is located in subtropical latitude. Winter in our summer, summer-winter. In January, the average temperature from 20 to 30 0C, and in the winter month, July, from 12 to 20 0C. In General warm seats.
In the internal water resources in Australia is difficult, they are few. The largest rivers in Australia are: Murray with a tributary of darling, and Flinders (they make up 60% of the internal flow of the mainland).
Australia’s climate is generally arid. Forests little. On the continent, most of the territory is occupied by deserts:
- Large Sandy,
- Great Victoria desert,
- Gibson desert.
Salt lakes are found in deserts. Around deserts growing thorny shrubs and Acacias and eucalyptus. The coast and mountain areas are occupied by forests of eucalyptus and ferns.
The fauna of the continent is replete with many endemic species: kangaroos, marsupial mole, wild dog Dingo, wombats, platypus, echidna, ostriches EMU, cassowaries, parrots, cockatoos, etc.
The state occupying the mainland Australia, the island of Tasmania and many small Islands is not independent. It is a Federation which is headed by Great Britain. So in a sense, Australia remains a colony. The same Federation includes New Zealand.
Oceania is the largest cluster of Islands on the planet (about 10 thousand) in the Central and South-Western parts of the Pacific ocean, with a total area of over 1 million square kilometers.
The name “Oceania” has been used since the beginning of the 19th century. In the same century the French Navigator and geographer, count Dumont-D’urville proposed to divide Oceania into three parts:
The relief of the Islands except Polynesia is mountainous and quite dismembered. Here there are mountains of serious heights, such as mount Jaya in New Guinea (5030 m), being the highest point of Oceania. In the relief of Eastern Micronesia and Polynesia is dominated by low coral atolls.
In Oceania, mainly Equatorial and subequatorial climate, humidity is constant. The southern parts lie in a subtropical temperate climate. The average monthly temperature in the Equatorial zone is kept at around 26-280C, in the South from 16 0C in February to 5 0C in August. Precipitation on average falls about 1 thousand mm, in the Eastern regions to 3 – 4 thousand mm. Imagine if it were all snow!
The leeward slopes of the mountainous Islands are covered with moist evergreen forests, the leeward slopes are overgrown with xerophytic hard-leaved forests. The flora of coral atolls is quite poor, there are small areas of forests, groves of coconut palms and breadfruit tree.
The fauna of Oceania is poor. It is characterized by a small number of mammals and a large number of insects and birds.