Archive "Australia"

Australian Deserts: Australia

T he hard, sprawling deserts of Australia and the remarkable people who have lived in them for 50,000 years offer fascinating clues to human evolution, climate shifts, and the intricate connections between living things and the ecosystems they inhabit (an example is shown in the color insert on page C-8). Although Australia boasts tropical forests […]

Weather: New Zealand

Auckland | Christchurch | Wellington The weather across the two islands of New Zealand isn't especially violent or dramatic, but it does keep you guessing. The band of westerly winds across the South Island is known as the Roaring Forties, and with good reason. Across the planet, there's no other land at this latitude except […]

Weather: Australia

Alice Springs, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney You can't look at a map of Australian rainfall and temperature without being struck by the effect of the Great Dividing Range. This low-slung set of peaks shelters the population belt of Australia's southeast coast from the dry, blastfurnace heat found through the vast interior. The Outback's […]

Weather: Australasia/South Pacific

Water – or the lack of it – has everything to do with the weather across this vast realm where the Pacific and Indian Oceans meet. The island continent of Australia and its much smaller neighbours are surrounded by mammoth stretches of sea. If you took a globe and shifted it so New Zealand were […]


Some excerpts to get you started . . . Bell-birds by Henry Kendall (1869) By channels of coolness the echoes are calling, And down the dim gorges I hear the creek falling: It lives in the mountain where moss and the sedges Touch with their beauty the banks and the ledges. Through breaks of the […]


'In offering this little tract to the public it is equally the writer's wish to conduce to their amusement and information.' As opening sentences of great books go, that doesn't quite match 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times'; 'The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there'; […]


These are Australia's top-selling periodicals . . . The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) 657 000 copies a week The Sunday Herald-Sun (Melbourne) 617 000 a week The Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 552 000 a week The Herald-Sun (Melbourne) 527 000 each weekday The Herald-Sun Saturday 515 000 Women's Weekly 491 500 a month The Sun-Herald (Sydney) 462 […]


The top-selling books since 1990: Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. […]


'Down Under', Men at Work (1982) The narrator, a backpacker, finds Australia is so fashionable in Europe that a man in Brussels gave him a Vegemite sandwich. He mocks the stereotype of a land where 'women glow' and 'men chunder'. 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport', Rolf Harris (1960) A dying stockman gives instructions to his […]


AC/DC, rock band ('Highway To Hell'), 1970s– Peter Allen, pop singer/composer ('I Still Call Australia Home'), 1960s–92 The Angels, rock band ('Take a Long Line'), 1970s–80s Australian Crawl, rock band ('Boys Light Up'), 1980s Jimmy Barnes, rock singer ('Working Class Man'), 1980s– The Bee Gees, pop group ('Spicks and Specks'), 1960s–90s Graeme Bell, jazz bandleader […]


Whispering Jack, John Farnham (1986)* Come On Over, Shania Twain (1997) Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette (1995) Innocent Eyes, Delta Goodrem (2003)* Music Box, Mariah Carey (1993) Thriller, Michael Jackson (1983) Savage Garden, Savage Garden (1997)* Falling Into You, Celine Dion (1996) Abba Gold, Abba (1992) Immaculate Collection, Madonna (1990) Recurring Dream, Crowded House (1996)* […]


Finding Nemo (2004) Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2002) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2003) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2003) Monsters Inc. (2002) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2006) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) Lord of the Rings: Return of the King […]


Homicide, Melbourne cop drama (7), 1964–75 Blue Heelers, drama about cops in rural Victoria (7), 1994–2006 The Secret Life of Us, gritty soap (10), 2001–04 The Mavis Bramston Show, satirical sketch series (7), 1964–68 SeaChange, adult comedy soap (ABC), 1998–2000 Underbelly, fact-based crime drama (9), 2008– McLeod's Daughters, rural soap (9), 2001–09 The Comedy Company, […]


The most watched programs of all time Diana Spencer's funeral (channels 9, 7, 10, ABC), 1997 Olympic opening and closing ceremonies (7), 2000 Wedding of Charles and Diana (9, 7, 10, ABC), 1981 Cathy Freeman's Olympic gold run (7), 2000 Olympic swimming events (7), 2000 The World of the Seekers (9), 1968 The Sound of […]


Crocodile Dundee (1986), box office total $48 million Australia (2008), $37 million Babe (1995), $37 million Happy Feet (2006), $32 million Moulin Rouge (2001), $28 million Crocodile Dundee II (1988), $25 million Strictly Ballroom (1992), $22 million The Dish (2000), $18 million The Man from Snowy River (1982), $17 million The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen […]


These are the films seen by the greatest number of Australians still alive in the 21st century, based on box office earnings adjusted for changing ticket prices: The Sound of Music (1965) 'There is nothing more irresistible to a man than a woman who's in love with him.' Crocodile Dundee (1986) 'That's not a knife. […]


The ones we watch: (In order of match-attendance and popularity on TV) AFL (Australian Football League, aka Aussie Rules, preferred in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia) NRL (National Rugby League, preferred in Queensland and New South Wales) Cricket Tennis Horse racing Motor sports Rugby union Basketball Soccer Netball The ones we do: Walking: 18 […]


Anybody who goes to an art gallery is a wanker, right? There are 3.6 million wankers in Australia. Only geeks go to libraries, so this country has 5.4 million geeks. Dance performances are for poofs and fag-hags, and now we know Australia has 1.6 million people like that. Outside of school projects, you wouldn't go […]

A Final Word

BECOMING A KIWI Pubs The New Zealand way of life is quite different from the British. Until recently there were no cosy pubs where you could wind down at the end of the day, or enjoy an entertaining evening out. A few smaller pubs have now started to appear but on the whole the pubs […]

Leisure Opportunities

In 2002, 1,955,700 people travelled to New Zealand to holiday or visit family and friends. AROUND AND ABOUT THE NORTH ISLAND The Bay of Islands Starting in the 'winterless north' there are so many beautiful beaches you would find it hard to choose which was the best. The Bay of Islands, with Paihia the most […]

Women in New Zealand

THE STORY OF AN EARLY WOMAN SETTLER According to family historian Anne Folkema, Jane Udy was pregnant with her fifth child when she landed on the beach at Te Whanganui a Tara (Port Nicholson) in February 1840. Pito-one pa (Maori Meeting House) lay to the west; Hikoikoi was the mouth of the river estuary to […]

The Government and the Economy

NEW ZEALAND'S CONSTITUTION New Zealand's constitutional history can be traced back to 1840. Under the Treaty of Waitangi, the Maori people exchanged their sovereignty for the guarantees of the treaty and New Zealand became a British colony. New Zealand is today an independent state, a monarchy with a parliamentary government. Queen Elizabeth II has the […]

Living Under the Law

HOW THE LEGAL SYSTEM WORKS New Zealand has inherited the British tradition of an independent judiciary, seen as a protection against unnecessary intrusion by the state into the lives of citizens. The Judicature Act 1908 and the Constitution Act 1986 contain a number of key provisions, designed to ensure judicial independence. Judges (including those who […]

Health and Welfare

HOW HEALTH CARE IS ORGANISED The New Zealand health system is made up of public, private and voluntary sectors which interact to provide and fund health care. Department of Health The Department is the principal adviser to the Minister of Health on health issues. It administers relevant legislation, funds programmes and ensures the provision of […]

Housing and Living

BUYING A HOUSE Whilst writing this book my family and I rented a house in a Wellington suburb. It was high on a hilltop with delightful views of the surrounding hills and with a glimpse of Wellington Harbour. The views were great and so we thought was the house, for which we paid NZ$220 per […]


EDUCATIONAL REFORM In 1987 the then Government, the Labour Party, led by David Lange as Prime Minister and self-appointed Minister of Education, named a task force to review education and its administration. Since then nearly every aspect of the administration of education in New Zealand has been reviewed. The task force found that structures that […]


MORE MIGRANTS NEEDED New Zealand welcomes applications from people wishing to come here, whether it is to visit, study, work or live. New Zealand needs people who are 'keen to make a go of it', people with qualifications and experience, who would not be a drain on our resources. It will cost you money to […]

Making the Big Decision

INTRODUCING THE COUNTRY We have established that New Zealand is not just another part of Australia. It is also as far away from England as you can go without finding yourself on the way back again! It is 1,600 kilometres east of Australia and it consists of two major islands, the North Island and the […]

Aboriginal Land Claims

Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Antarctica: Aboriginal Land Claims

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In 1972, the Australian government denied the claims of some Aboriginal people trying to regain ancestral lands. In response, Aboriginal protesters erected a tent on the lawn of Old Parliament House in Canberra and named it the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. They called it an embassy to symbolize their treatment as foreigners in […]

Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In 1788, Great Britain founded Sydney, Australia, as a penal colony—that is, a place to send prisoners. By the end of the 20th century, Sydney had overcome its origins and earned a reputation as a fun and fascinating international city. That has been due, in part, to a unique combination of physical […]

Cultural Regions of Oceania


A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Noah Idechong has fought to protect the sea life of Palau, an archipelago east of the Philippines. Palauans have always earned their living by fishing, but in the 1980s, many species of fish were in danger of extinction because they were such popular menu items in Asian restaurants. Idechong began to study […]

Map of the British Empire, c. 1900. It demonstrates the interpretation of Australasia as ‘the seven British colonies’ (with French colonies excluded by re-drawing regional boundaries)

A Contemporary Australasia?

If the link between colonial imaginations of Australasia as a distinct world region can be seen to neatly translate onto contemporary scientific classification and nomenclature, the story is not nearly so simple in the spheres of politics and society. Most simply, there is no clear wisdom on what countries are contained in the geopolitical entity known as Australasia, and whether […]

The Wallace line an ecological definition of Australasia.

Australasia as Ecoregion

The apex of the use of Australasia as a place name stemmed from its acceptance as a scientific term to describe a unique ecoregion. This emphasis on ecological uniqueness was, along with theories about racial difference, a central concern of Europeans in their attempts to distinguish and classify world regions. Early evidence of a distinction between Asia and lands […]


Australasia is a geographic place name for a large region of the southern part of the world. As to which countries are considered a part of Australasia has not been universally defined. Different countries are included depending on the use of the term, and throughout its history, Australasia has often been used interchangeably (and usually no more accurately) with […]

New Zealand

Area 107,737 square mi (268,680 square km) Population 4.510 million 2014 Capital Wellington Highest Point 12,283 ft (3,754 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $188.4 billion 2013 Primary Natural Resources natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal. IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN, the country of New Zealand lies to the southeast of AUSTRALIA. However, while Australia […]


Area 2,967,895 square mi (7,686,850 square km) Population 23.49 million 2014 Capital Canberra Highest Point 7,311 ft (2,229 m) Lowest Point 49 ft (15 m) GDP $1.454 trillion 2014 Primary Natural Resources gold, silver, uranium. THE COMMONWEALTH of Australia is the world's sixth-largest country and is located on the world's smallest continent between the INDIAN […]