Official Name : Commonwealth of Australia
Capital : Canberra
Currency : Australian dollar (AUD)
Language : English
Population : 23.0500.000
Visa Required : NO (but you need an ETA)
Australia, which got’s its name to the alleged continent terra australis incognita ("unknown southern country"), has been inhabited for several tens of thousands of years before it was discovered by Europeans. After the Dutchman "Willem Jansz" Australia discovered in 1606 as the first European, it took till 1770 before the east coast was taken over by the British, who initially used the island as a penal colony. From 1650 to 1817 the entire continent was called New Holland, only the names New Zealand and Tasmania still remind us of the Dutch voyages of discovery in this area. New South Wales was the first colony in 1788 and in the 19th century five other colonies followed, the forerunners of the current Australian states. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies merged into one federation and, although not yet fully, became independent from the United Kingdom. Australia derives its sovereignty from the so-called "settled colony principle" which stipulates that the country was peacefully colonized. Whether it was the Dutch or the Portuguese who were the first Europeans to discover Australia is now seriously questioned according by new research.
Despite the fact that Australia is built up (if you may call it that) by colonists, the country uses one of the world's most stringent but also most controversial immigration laws and regulations. Something that weighs heavily on the stomach of many residents and politicians. Another natural problem that the country "down under" has been struggling with for years are the increasingly frequent floods and forest fires. As a result of global warming, Australia is frequently hit by hurricanes and both droughts and storms that are crammed with a lot of rain.
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