Every year hundreds of festivals and events are held around Australia, from local cultural projects to major music festivals. Here is a selection of the ones I think are particularly interesting for tourists. I have only written which month each event usually is organised on since the dates change every year. Please check the accurate date on each event’s website.
Prior to the formation of the Federation, Australia was made up of six separate and self-governing British colonies. Within their respective borders, the colonies were free to enact their own laws concerning defence, immigration, trade and infrastructure.
Because of this system, the trade between the colonies was hampered, just as the colonies’ police and defence work. Towards the end of the 1800s, an emerging nationalism surfaced, and a unique Australian culture began to take shape with national teams representing the colonies abroad and artists who created art, poetry, songs and wrote uniquely Australian stories about life on the new continent.
Are you doing schoolwork about Australia or just want to know the most significant facts about the country before going there? Here is a summary of the Australian society at a glance.
The Australians have great sympathies for “mateship” and everyone’s right to a fair chance, as well as feeling compassion towards anyone struggling at a disadvantage, values originating from a time when the colonies were newly established. Again, and again, these values are found in various heroic stories, and well-known Australians are known and loved just because of their quest to improve the life and conditions of the little man.
Ned Kelly, Australia’s most famous “Bush Ranger” was admittedly a gangster, but at the same time he protested against the poverty and injustice the British class system brought with it into the new colony. The theme of passionate, but far from flawless heroes struggling for what is right, is found in many situations and has inspired several books and films in Australia; Perhaps Julian Assange (known from Wikileaks and as for being accused by two Swedish women of abusing them) is the latest to play the role of an Australian “hero” who fights both for what is right and against his personal demons.
Architecture and design
As a Swede, I am sometimes fascinated by the urban planning in cities like Sydney. Australian cities are vast with relatively low buildings that extend to the horizon. It is easy to see how Australians prefer living in their own house with a small garden instead of apartments. Most families have their own car and congestion and poorly developed public transport is a major problem for municipal management in many cities. Most residential buildings are one storey houses with a small garden or a lawn on the front and back. Buildings are built on the width instead of height, making Australian cities spread out as far as the eye can reach.
Australia is a unique and rich country in every way, with a culture that is as broad and versatile as its landscapes. Modern Australia is an international and multicultural country, something a visitor might notice in the country’s varied food, lifestyles and different traditions.
Unfortunately, there are many ways to get injured on or killed by in Australia, but snakebites, crocodiles, sharks and dangerous spiders are nowhere near as dangerous as the traffic and the beaches are. In this article, I would like to tell you briefly about what you rather than dangerous animals should be worrying about…
In 2002 the Australian Bureau of Statistics made a survey on cause of death for the 360 foreign visitors who died during their trip to Australia that year. (Altogether over 5 million foreigners visited the country in 2002.) It’s more than 15 years ago, but the insights are still interesting, I think.
The median age of these unfortunate visitors was around 60 years (reflecting that most people die from age-related illnesses) and 41% of the deaths were caused by heart attacks and strokes, as well as about 15% of cancer diseases. Thus, approximately 71% of deaths amongst tourists in Australia had natural cause.
This brief overview of Australia’s history is far from complete, but hopefully it gives you an insight into the events that shaped the country and its culture. For thousands of years Australia was populated by indigenous, known as Aboriginals. The arrival of the first English fleet with convicts and colonists in 1788 came to change the life of the Aboriginals, not always for the better.
From being a small European colony in a distant part of the world, Australia has over the last two hundred years become a regional power to count on, a modern and developed society. A country many nations around the globe envies. The colonizer’s ‘ relationship with the country, its indigenous peoples and the people themselves has changed tremendously over these 200 years. Today’s Australia is built on human rights and freedom. This lengthy change of course culminated in February 2008 when the Australian state officially apologized for its long oppressive policy towards the Aboriginals.
Thanks to its exotic climate and its relative isolation from the outside world, Australia has developed a completely unique plant and animal life that most tourists experience as something spectacular. The continent’s isolation from the outside world made it difficult for other species to get to Australia, creating an opportunity for a plethora of unique indigenous species to develop and establish themselves.
While large parts of earth’s continents suffered a major cooling down (with a culmination in about 10,000 years ago), Australia’s animal species were given additional time to evolve when chance had the continent moving northwards towards increasingly warmer lands instead. On top of this, Australia’s mainland has always had an extremely diverse climate, all with unique conditions (such as the rainforests of the tropics) giving many different animals a chance to evolve its own uniqueness suitable for each region and its specific environment.
Australia is the world’s largest island – and smallest continent. From north to south, the Australian mainland stretches over 3,700 km and from east to the west it’s about 4,000 km across, making Australia the world’s sixth largest country after Russia, Canada, China, USA and Brazil. Australia is a large country to explore!
In addition to the mainland itself, Australia also consists of the large island of Tasmania that measures 300-360 km from coast to coast and is located 240 km south of the mainland’s south-eastern corner, as well as several smaller islands. The closest neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East-Timor located north of the mainland, farther to the southeast lies New Zealand and to the northeast in the Pacific Ocean we find the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.