For about 50,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who spoke languages grouped into roughly 250 language groups. After the European discovery of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788.
The population grew steadily in subsequent decades; the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies were established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Since federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy comprising six states and several territories.
The population of 24 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated in the eastern states and on the coast. Australia is a developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, with the world's 12th-largest economy. In 2014 Australia had the world's fifth-highest per capita income. Australia's military expenditure is the world's 13th-largest. With the second-highest human development index globally, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organisation, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the Pacific Islands Forum.
Here is my photographic tour of our country, through the major urban centres and a taste of the Outback.
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!
This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.
|Darwin from the air|
|Darwin local government buildings|
|Darwin, Galleria Mall|
|Brisbane, Treasury Casino|
|Brisbane, Story Bridge|
|Sydney, Opera House|
|Sydney Harbour Bridge|
|Sydney - Manly|
|Sydney - Darling Harbour|
|Melbourne skyline and the Eureka Tower|
|Melbourne Town Hall and St Paul's Cathedral|
|Melbourne - Flinders St Station|
|Hobart rush hour|
|Hobart - Salamanca Place|
|Canberra - Parliament Building|
|Canberra - Ethos Place|
|Canberra - Australian War Memorial|
|Adelaide - Festival Centre|
|Adelaide - Art Gallery of South Australia|
|Adelaide - Glenelg|
|Perth - St Mary's Cathedral|
|Perth - King's Park|
|Perth - Fremantle|
|Uluru (Ayers' Rock)|
|And there is a lot of empty space too!|