II. Scan the text and decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F):
1.Australia is an island continent in the Southern Hemisphere, lying between Antarctica and Europe.
2. Indonesia is Australia's largest near-neighbouring country and belongs to both the Asia-Pacific and South-East Asian regions.
3. The state of Tasmania includes numerous small islands and extends to the Solomon Islands which lies approximately 1,470 km south east of the main island.
4. The United Nations Convention on the Preservation Law allows Australia jurisdiction over large tracts of the ocean and seafloor that surround them.
5. In total there are some 12,000 islands. While most of these islands are small, Australia has an Exclusive Economic Zone that is 200 nautical miles wide (370.4 km). The Exclusive Economic Zone gives Australia obligation over a marine area of some 10 million sq km.
6. The land area of Australia is almost as great as that of Russia(excluding Alaska), about 50% greater than Europe and 32 times greater than the United Kingdom.
7. Australia is the lowest, flattest and, apart from Antarctica, the driest of the continents. Unlike Europe and South America, where some landscapes date back to around 20,000 years ago, when great ice sheets retreated, the age of landforms in Australia is generally measured in many millions of years.
8. The Australian landforms of today are thus seen to result from long continued processes in a unique setting, giving rise to typical Australian landscapes, which in turn provide the physical basis for the distribution and nature of biological and human activity in Australia.
9. Although it is a large country, its topography is not too varied and most of it consists of high desert plateau. There are however fertile plains in the southeast.
10. Australia's climate is mostly arid to semiarid, but the south and east are temperate and the north is cold.
11. Alpine forests, tropical rainforests and a wide variety of plants and animals thrive there because of its geographic nearness to the rest of the world.
12. Australia is most famous for its marsupial species, which include the kangaroo, koala and lion.
13. It also has the greatest number of reptile species in the world as well as some of the most venomous snakes and other dangerous creatures like the crocodile.
14. Although the impact of environmental variation is highly evident in the traditional cultures of the British Australians, it has not been as strong a factor in immigrant cultures.
15. The ACT was created in 1909, and the city of Sydney was designed by an American landscape architect in 1912.
III. Read the text about the geographic features of Australia. Choose the phrase from A to K to fill in the gaps. There is one phrase that you won’t need to use:
The Australian mainland is in fact 1 _____and is often referred to as an island continent. Australia is also surrounded by thousands of smaller islands ranging is size from 2 _____to some more than twice the size of the Australian Capital Territory. The larges of these is Melville Island in the Northern Territory with an area of 5,786 square km.
Fraser Island off the Queensland coast is Australia’s fifth largest island and 3 _____.
Australia also has a number of large islands in the Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans and the Coral and Timor Seas as part of its 4 _____ as well as several closer to the mainland which are larger than 1000 square kilometres..
Despite 5 _____to Australia at the bottom of the world in the Southern Hemisphere. Australia is in fact 6 _____in the world in terms of its elevation with an average elevation of only 330 m. The highest points on the other continents are all more than 7 _____ of Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko.
Apart from 8 _____ , Australia is the driest continent in the world. About 35 per cent of the continent receives so little rain, it can be classified as desert.
The largest Australian desert is the 9 _____desert at 348,750 square kilometres., spanning Western and South Australia. The runner up is the Great Sandy desert in Western Australia at 267,250 square kilometres.
The total desert area equates to 18 per cent of 10 _____of Australia.