Australia -- School-age


Australia Flag Map

Things to Know

Capital: Canberra

Aborigines were the original inhabitants.

Australia Map

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

Australia is the smallest of the continents.

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

Australia globe

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 (Voluntary settler in Australia) 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 States/Territories Emblems
Each Australian State or Territory has its own emblem of a animal, flower, and bird.


There are animals that only live in Australia and on the islands near Australia, such as New Guinea, New Zealand and Tasmania. Australia is thousands of miles away from all other continents. That is why many of the animals in Astralia never migrated (moved) to other continents.

Australia is home to many animal species, such as the emu, echidna, platypus, kangaroo, and koala.

Marsupials is an animal that carries its young in a pouch on the mother's belly.
Marsupials: Kangaroos and koalas.
A young marsupials is usually called a joey.

Australia is home to many of the deadliest animal species on the planet: 36 species of poisonous funnel-web spiders and 20 types of venomous snakes including the taipan.


Australia's size gives it a wide variety of landscapes. The northwest portion of Australia is a rain forest.

The southern is subtropical with mountain ranges in the south-east. Most farms and cities are located in southwest and southeast were the climate is more comfortable

More than one-third of the country is desert, called the outback. More than one-third of the country is desert, called the outback. The vast interior of Australia where there are scorching temperatures, little water, and almost no vegetation.

sand plains and salt pans to Mount Connor, Central Australia
Sand plains and salt pans to
Mount Connor, Central Australia.

Margaret Preston - Artist

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

Art Gallery Of South Australia - Children's Trail Meet Margaret Preston
Activites to explore the art of Margaret Preston (pdf).


Things to Do

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

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.



How Kangaroo got his Tail
Based on an Australian Aboriginal Legend

Possum Magic (Voyager Books) by Mem Fox



Australian Koala Foundation Fun Stuff children'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.

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

Australian Medal(necklace)
Print the template.


Sites to See

Unique Australian Animals
Information and pictures of Australian Animals.

Duck-Billed Platypus at National Geographic

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