There is no point in making a website about Australia without going into some topics. So here is some information on the states / territories , population and climate in Australia , for those of you who want to get an idea of what the Australian continent is like, maybe before you visit! I came here knowing only that it was very far, very big and, by hearsay, very beautiful. Once I arrived I was able to confirm, with a couple of exceptions: Australia is not only big and very beautiful, but it is BIG and EXTRAORDINARY BEAUTIFUL!
States and Territories of Australia
I assume many of you know where Australia is: over there in the Southern Hemisphere , surrounded by the Pacific and Indian Oceans, only New Zealand, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea as neighbors. When I look on the map I actually realize how isolated it is!
Australia is a federal parliamentary monarchy : in theory the head of state is the Queen of England, in reality her role is only formal, as she is represented in the country by a Governor-General who enjoys broad executive powers. However, even the figure of the governor is quite superficial, the power at the end of the fair is exercised by the Prime Minister ( currently a woman, Julia Gillard is now Kevin Rudd again) and by the various Ministers of the State (these three figures, Governor General, Prime Minister and State Ministers constitute the federal government). I will not go into details, but I just want to say that politics here is very different from the Italian one… much simpler, clearer, and managed by young, not decrepit characters!
Australia is divided into 6 states and several territories . The former have complete administrative independence from the federal government and each have their own legislative bodies (as well as their own capitals). The territories instead depend totally on the central power of the Commonwealth of Australia.
The states are:
- Queensland (QLD)capital Brisbane
- New South Wales (NSW)capital Sydney
- Victoria (VIC)capital Melbourne
- South Australia (SA)capital Adelaide
- Western Australia (WA)capital Perth
- Tasmania (TAS)capital Hobart
Each state enjoys its own powers recognized by the Australian Constitution which also defines the limits of validity of federal government laws in individual states. In short, each state has its own rules and laws.
The territories are divided into those present in the Mainland, the continental part, and the external ones, located in the so-called “remote lands”.
There are three territories on the main island: the Northern Territory (NT) capital Darwin and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) capital Canberra , which enjoy a certain political autonomy, and the territory of Jervis Baywhich is actually considered a minor territory. The Australian Capital Territory develops around the city of Canberra, founded to be able to give a capital to the country and to put an end to the dispute between the city of Sydney and Melbourne that were trying, even with violent demonstrations, to win the title of national capital.
Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, which means it’s gigantic! You would automatically think that the Australian population reaches a very high number, instead the country is in 52nd place in the ranking with only 22,766,900 inhabitants or about a third of the inhabitants of Italy.
The reason for such low numbers? You have to see Australia as a “newborn” country, in the development phase. It was in fact discovered in 1606 by a Dutchman and only after the Second World War the number of inhabitants began to grow at a constant rate. Many people have emigrated to Australia because they are attracted by the countless mineral resources present in the country.
The feeling I have is that Australia is following the same path that the United States did in the immediate post-war period: so many immigrants have given the impetus and the strength to make the country grow and make it a leading power in the world. Australia in recent years has grown a lot economically and is certainly taking advantage of the mistakes made by other countries.
Most of the population is concentrated in the large metropolises : Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. The rest of the country? It’s practically empty… just great expanses of outback. You have to imagine all the inhabitants distributed along the coasts (and not all of them) while in the middle there is practically desert.
The population in Australia is a mixed bag of ethnicities, basically all immigrants just like the United States of America!
90% are descended from Europeans (many from the British), 8% are of Asian origin and only 2% are Aboriginal . Unfortunately, despite the belief that the Aboriginal people have been here for about 50,000 years, they only obtained the right to vote in 1967 and following the colonization process that began in 1788, its population was reduced by 90%.
You can learn more about their history and culture at this site on the Australian Aboriginal population .
Being a young country, everything is new here: the cities are built with logic and you will never find small streets that creep between old buildings, squares full of people or monuments like the Colosseum. Clearly there is no history behind it that Europe has instead. For some this may be less fascinating and uninteresting, for me it is very stimulating because I perceive the potential that this country has, while in my imagination Europe is now like an old lady who lived and gave everything she could. give (this is ambiguous, I admit it !!). Also, there may not be any monuments or ancient cities built by the Greeks or Romans, but the natural sceneries Australia offers are some of the most beautiful and unforgettable in the world!
Climate and Seasons in Australia
The climate in Australia is very varied : the country is so large that it is inevitable to have completely different weather conditions from one part of the continent to the other: north and south, east and west have completely different seasons and climates.
40% of the country (mainly the central part) is covered by sand dunes ; in the north, on the other hand, you can breathe a tropical air ; along the east coast the climate is between subtropical and temperate , while the western part is mostly arid, only in the southernmost corner is it possible to find a subtropical climate . This also explains why the western part of Australia (Western Australia) is not very inhabited: almost all the population is concentrated around the city of Perth.
One thing to specify regarding the seasons : in addition to being reversed with respect to those of the northern hemisphere, they begin on the first of the month, not on the 21st. So spring begins on September 1st, summer on December 1st. autumn on March 1st and winter on June 1st. At first it’s a bit strange to think that August is the middle of winter and Christmas is summer, but then you get a taste for it!
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As I have already mentioned, the climate in the central part of Australia is desert and due to the characteristic color of the earth, this area is also called the Red Center (red center). There isn’t much animated life in between. There is only one city and it is located almost exactly in the center of the continent: Alice Springs.
The climate is characterized by winters with almost non-existent rainfall and spring temperatures during the day but quite low at night, on average it reaches 5 ° C. Summers are hot and although there is more rainfall than in winter, they are limited to a total of a few days per month.
North of the Tropic
In general, the climate in the area above the Tropic of Capricorn is characterized by only two seasons : dry and wet (also called the rainy season). The first runs from May to October (and therefore winter-spring) and in this period it is simply divinely: perfect temperatures (30-34 ° C), zero humidity and no clouds in the sky. It is no coincidence that many Australians take advantage of the winter holidays to take a trip up north.
The wet season, on the other hand, from November to April, sees a drastic increase in rainfall, concentrated mainly between December and March (summer), very high temperatures and a high risk of cyclones. However, think that it still rains very little compared to other countries in the world: Australia is in fact the continent where it rains the least in the world, apart from the Antarctic.
South of the Tropic
Winter south of the tropic is fairly uniform. The Canberra area and Tasmania are the only ones that sometimes have minimum temperatures around freezing, highs around 14 ° C and short showers. In the rest of the big cities, on the other hand, the winter is mild and is characterized by rainfall and temperatures that in Italy we could consider autumnal. L ‘ summer south of the tropic’s hot everywhere, with temperatures slightly’ lower in Sydney and Melbourne and the highest in Perth and Brisbane.
- The Canberraarea , given its distance from the sea, has a typical continental summer: hot, very little humidity and rainfall is fairly distributed throughout the year.
- Perthis lucky enough to see all the rains concentrated in the winter period, so the rest of the year is a fairy tale, little humidity, lots of sun and rarely any rain, so much so that I happened to beg for the passage of a cloud, just to break the monotony of an always clear and blue sky!
- The Queenslandarea below the tropic, and therefore also Brisbane, is still affected by the tropical rainy season, so there is a lot of heat, a lot of humidity and the risk of getting a typical tropical downpour is very high!
- In Sydney,however, the rains are distributed throughout the year, although they are a bit more abundant during the summer, which is still fantastic.
- In Melbourne too, rainfall is distributed, but more evenly. Due to its location, the city is subject to very frequent climatic variations and a high probability of rain 365 days a year. There is a common saying that if you want to live in Melbourne you have to be ready to see all 4 seasons go by in a day: from the sun, to the blizzard, to the rain, and then back to heat!
- Adelaidehas the typical Mediterranean climate: in summer it rains very little and the rains are concentrated mainly in winter.