Australia is amazingly beautiful and it’s sheer size (7,692,024 square kilometres!) makes you wonder where to go first! Australia remained ‘hidden’ from Europeans till they finally arrived in 1606. The first European explorers here were the Dutch and they called this land as Terra Australis Incognita (unknown southern land). Between 1606 to 1770 more than 50 European ships arrived here.
In 1770, Englishman Lieutenant James Cook charted the Australian east coast in his ship HM Barque Endeavour. Cook claimed the east coast under instruction from King George III of England on 22 August 1770 at Possession Island, naming eastern Australia ‘New South Wales’. The coast of Australia, featuring Tasmania as a separate island, was mapped in detail by the English mariners and navigators Bass and Flinders, and the French mariner, Baudin. But permanent European settlement begin only in 1788 with the establishment of British penal colony in New South Wales.
For more than 50,000 years before European settlement, Aboriginal people lived on Australian continent. They occupied country across its landscape, including mountains, and even the driest desserts. In present times, even though Australians live across this vast continent but most Australians live in coastal areas only. All the major cities are located near the sea except for Brisbane which is situated on Brisbane river but even Brisbane is not very far from the sea!
The five biggest cities of Australia are – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide located in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and Southern Australia respectively. There is one more state which is Tasmania. There are also two territories namely Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory (Canberra). The country measures approximately 4,000 kms from east to west and 3,200 kms from north to south and that does not include Tasmania and Coocs Island, Norfolk Island and Christmas Island (last three being dependencies).
The purpose of providing you all the details here is to appreciate the fact that Australia is really big and exploring it means you must travel widely, always ready to taste something new and be tempted to find out what’s next on your ever growing must-see places in Australia!
In this series, we will continue our journey across Australia and we will take you to New South Wales.
Please contact us for free assessment of your case for obtaining an Australian visa.
See you in New South Wales…