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Things to Know

Capital: Canberra

Aborigines were the original inhabitants.

Australia is sometimes called "the land down under" because it lies in the Southern Hemisphere. Australia is the smallest of the continents

The country of Australia consists of the continent of Australia, with the island state of Tasmania.


The University of Melbourne Library - Map Collection
Blank outline maps.

Australia is part of the British Commonwealth of Nations but governs itself. It has a national flag, which includes the English flag and the southern cross or southern constellation on it. The southern cross is an important symbol in Australia, it is a constellation that shines brightly in the Southern Hemisphere.

Australian Flag color page with key

Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish ships sighted Australia in the 17th century; the Dutch landed at the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1606. In 1616 the territory became known as New Holland.

William Dampier, the English buccaneer, landed in Australia in 1688. But it was not until Captain James Cook's voyage in 1770 that Great Britain claimed possession of the vast island, calling it New South Wales.

Australia was settled by convicts from England.
A British penal colony was set up at Port Jackson (Sydney) in 1788, and about 161,000 transported English convicts were settled there until the system was suspended in 1839.

Free settlers established six colonies:

New South Wales (1786)

Tasmania (1825)
The Island State of Tasmania is the only Australian state that isn't located on the mainland. Tasmania is one of the worlds last temperate wildernesses. Tasmania has some unique wildlife, the most famous is the Tasmanian Devil which is a small and ferocious cat like animal.

Western Australia (1829), South Australia (1834), Victoria (1851), and Queensland (1859).

Australian wildlife includes the emu and the kangaroo.

Australian States/Territories Emblems
Each Australian State or Territory has its own emblem of a animal, flower, and bird.

Things to Do

Message Stick
Need: paper towel tube, white paper, tape, scissors, paint, crayons

Flatten the cardboard tube. Cove the tube with white paper. Trim and tape the paper. Color and paint designs on the paper covered tube. Let dry. When dry deliver the stick to someone with an oral message. The children could think of a message for their parents to go with the stick.

Things to know. In Australia, each aborigine tribe selected several young men to serve as messengers. The young men carried special sticks carved with meaningful symbols by the elders. A messenger delivered his news orally, and left the stick as a reminder of the arrangement.

String Story
Need: small box lid, string (parameter of box 4 times), tape(transparent), scissors.

Leave the corners of the box. Cut part of the sides of the box and fold down under the box. Cut one slit in one side of a corner. Place string in the slit. Wrap string around and across the box to create pictures. Making a cat's cradle type design. Tape string at the corners.

Things to know. Aborigine women in Australia create over 400 string figures to tell stories with. The storyteller uses her teeth or toes to assist in making these designs or two women may work together to make complicated figures. They must practice the sequence of steps until the pattern is memorized.


Margaret Preston
Australian painter and printmaker Margaret Preston is renowned for her images
of Australian native flowers.


The Kookaburra Song

Waltzing Matilda

Sites to See

Australia For Kids
Created by students. Learn about Australia, take a quiz, fun things to do, and more.

National Geographic

Animals of Australia

Red Kangaroos

Unique Australian Animals
Information and pictures of Australian Animals. A new animal added each month

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
The world's first and largest koala sanctuary

Tasmanian Devils Printable Fact Card

Duck-Billed Platypus at National Geographic
Duck-Billed Platypus Printable Fact Card


Good Night, Sleep Tight


Mem Fox
Stories read by Australian author Mem Fox

How Kangaroo got his Tail
Based on an Australian Aboriginal Legend

Possum Magic (Voyager Books)



Australian Koala Foundation Fun Stuff chldren's section.
Crossword, wordsearch, join the dots, color pages, and more to print and do.

Sticky dot map of Australia craft
Print out the map outline. Be inspired by indigenous dot paintings.

Aboriginal Masks
Print a mask and paint interesting circular patterns on it. There are 3 different mask patterns to print.


Paper Animals
Print the templates and assemble these paper animals, abilby, galah, kangaroo, Tasmanian tiger.


Outback "Friends"Paperdoll
Australian Guide "Friends"



Australian Medal(necklace)
Print the template.



Make a Didgeridoo
Use a gift wrap tube and paint to create a didgeridoo.




Sydney Opera House Craft
Use paper plates to create the syndey Opera House.



Margaret Preston Inspired Collages (grade 1&2)





Papercraft-Sydney Opera House (hard)




Australia and South East Asia Map Puzzle
Australia Map Game


< Australian States/Territories Emblems>


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