Plan of Study
and New Zealand
Examine the geography and
economy of Australia.
Investigate how the geography of New Zealand affects its people and its
relations with other countries.
Chapter 26: Australia and New Zealand
Australia is a country and a continent. The Great Barrier Reef lies off
Australia's northeastern coast. This dry continent is covered by plains,
plateaus, and a few low mountain ranges. Because it has been separated
from other continents for millions of years, unique plants and animals
have developed there. An abundance of mineral resources, cattle and sheep
ranching, and a growing manufacturing sector have produced a strong economy.
Australia has relatively few people, most of whom live along the coasts.
New Zealand lies in the Pacific Ocean, about 1,200 miles (1,931 km) southeast
of Australia. It contains two main islands and several smaller islands.
New Zealand's economy is built on trade. Sheep herding is an important
activity, and wool and lamb meat are major exports.
Australia is both a country and the world's smallest continent.
Deserts and grasslands cover most of the country west of the Great Dividing
Australia's economy relies mostly on farming and mining.
Australia is the world's leading wool-producing country. It also leads
in the production of bauxite and lead.
The first Australians were the Aborigines. Others are of European and Asian
Most Australians live in cities. Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane,
and Perth are the largest.
New Zealand includes two major islands--North Island and South Island--and
many smaller islands.
New Zealand has a mild, wet climate.
New Zealand's agricultural exports--especially wool--are the mainstays
of its economy.
New Zealand gets most of its electricity from geothermal energy.
The Maori, a Polynesian ethnic group from the South Pacific, were the first
people to settle New Zealand.
New Zealand's culture at one time was mainly influenced by British traditions.
Now it is a mix of many cultures, including those of the Maori and other