Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the worlds sixth-largest country by total area, the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east. Australias capital is Canberra, and its largest urban area is Sydney, for about 50,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who spoke languages classifiable into roughly 250 groups. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored, on 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy comprising six states.
The population of 24 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard, Australia has the worlds 13th-largest economy and ninth-highest per capita income. With the second-highest human development index globally, the country highly in quality of life, education, economic freedom. The name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis a name used for putative lands in the southern hemisphere since ancient times, the Dutch adjectival form Australische was used in a Dutch book in Batavia in 1638, to refer to the newly discovered lands to the south. On 12 December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office that it be formally adopted, in 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known officially as Australia. The first official published use of the term Australia came with the 1830 publication of The Australia Directory and these first inhabitants may have been ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. The Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, were originally horticulturists, the northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited sporadically by fishermen from Maritime Southeast Asia.
The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland, and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent, are attributed to the Dutch. The first ship and crew to chart the Australian coast and meet with Aboriginal people was the Duyfken captained by Dutch navigator, Willem Janszoon. He sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in early 1606, the Dutch charted the whole of the western and northern coastlines and named the island continent New Holland during the 17th century, but made no attempt at settlement. William Dampier, an English explorer and privateer, landed on the north-west coast of New Holland in 1688, in 1770, James Cook sailed along and mapped the east coast, which he named New South Wales and claimed for Great Britain. The first settlement led to the foundation of Sydney, and the exploration, a British settlement was established in Van Diemens Land, now known as Tasmania, in 1803, and it became a separate colony in 1825. The United Kingdom formally claimed the part of Western Australia in 1828.
Separate colonies were carved from parts of New South Wales, South Australia in 1836, Victoria in 1851, the Northern Territory was founded in 1911 when it was excised from South Australia
Queensland is the second-largest and third-most-populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west, to the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. Queensland has a population of 4,750,500, concentrated along the coast, the state is the worlds sixth largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 km2. The capital and largest city in the state is Brisbane, Australias third largest city, often referred to as the Sunshine State, Queensland is home to 10 of Australias 30 largest cities and is the nations third largest economy. Tourism in the state, fuelled largely by its tropical climate, is a major industry. Queensland was first inhabited by Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, the first European to land in Queensland was Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606, who explored the west coast of the Cape York Peninsula near present-day Weipa.
In 1770, Lieutenant James Cook claimed the east coast of Australia for the Kingdom of Great Britain. The colony of New South Wales was founded in 1788 by Governor Arthur Phillip at Sydney, New South Wales at that time included all of what is now Queensland, Queensland was explored in subsequent decades until the establishment of a penal colony at Brisbane in 1824 by John Oxley. Penal transportation ceased in 1839 and free settlement was allowed from 1842, the state was named in honour of Queen Victoria, who on 6 June 1859 signed Letters Patent separating the colony from New South Wales. The 6th of June is now celebrated statewide as Queensland Day. Queensland achieved statehood with the Federation of Australia on 1 January 1901, the history of Queensland spans thousands of years, encompassing both a lengthy indigenous presence, as well as the eventful times of post-European settlement. The north-eastern Australian region was explored by Dutch and French navigators before being encountered by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770, the Australian Labor Party has its origin as a formal organisation in Queensland and the town of Barcaldine is the symbolic birthplace of the party.
June 2009 marked the 150th anniversary of its creation as a colony from New South Wales. The Aboriginal occupation of Queensland is thought to predate 50,000 BC, likely via boat or land bridge across Torres Strait, during the last ice age Queenslands landscape became more arid and largely desolate, making food and other supplies scarce. This led to the worlds first seed-grinding technology, warming again made the land hospitable, which brought high rainfall along the eastern coast, stimulating the growth of the states tropical rainforests. In February 1606, Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon landed near the site of what is now Weipa and this was the first recorded landing of a European in Australia, and it marked the first reported contact between European and Aboriginal Australian people. The region was explored by French and Spanish explorers prior to the arrival of Lieutenant James Cook in 1770. Cook claimed the east coast under instruction from King George III of the United Kingdom on 22 August 1770 at Possession Island, naming Eastern Australia, including Queensland, the Aboriginal population declined significantly after a smallpox epidemic during the late 18th century
Cape York Peninsula
Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula located in Far North Queensland, Australia. It is the largest unspoiled wilderness in northern Australia and one of the last remaining areas on Earth. The land is flat and about half of the area is used for grazing cattle. Edmund Kennedy was the first European explorer to attempt an expedition of Cape York Peninsula. He had been second-in-command to Thomas Livingstone Mitchell in 1846 when the Barcoo River was discovered, the aim was to blaze a trail to the tip of the peninsula where some Sydney businessmen thought of developing a port for trade with the East Indies. The expedition set out from Rockingham Bay near the present town of Cardwell in May 1848, of the thirteen men who set out, only three survived. The others died of fever or starvation, or were speared by hostile aborigines, Kennedy died of spear wounds almost within sight of his destination in December 1848. The only survivor to complete the journey was Jackey Jackey, an aborigine from New South Wales and he led a rescue party to the other two who had been unable to continue.
En route they lost most of their horses, many of their stores and fought pitched battles with aborigines, the west coast borders the Gulf of Carpentaria and the east coast borders the Coral Sea. The peninsula is bordered on three sides, there is no clear demarcation to the south, although the official boundary in the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007 of Queensland runs along at about 16°S latitude. At the peninsula’s widest point, it is 430 km from the Bloomfield River in the southeast and it is some 660 km from the southern border of Cook Shire, to the tip of Cape York. The largest islands in the strait include Prince of Wales Island, Horn Island, Moa, at the tip of the peninsula lies Cape York, the northernmost point on the Australian continent. The tropical landscapes are among the most stable in the world, the backbone of Cape York Peninsula is the peninsula ridge, part of Australia’s Great Dividing Range. This mountain range is made up of ancient Precambrian and Palaeozoic rocks, to the east and west of the peninsula ridge lie the Carpentaria and Laura Basins, themselves made up of ancient Mesozoic sediments.
The soils are remarkably infertile even compared to areas of Australia, being almost entirely laterised and in most cases so old. The temperature is warm to hot, with a climate in higher areas. The mean annual temperatures range from 18 °C at higher elevations to 27 °C on the lowlands in the drier southwest, temperatures over 40 °C and below 5 °C are rare. Annual rainfall is high, ranging from over 2,000 millimetres in the Iron Range, almost all this rain falls between November and April, and only on the eastern slopes of the Iron Range is the median rainfall between June and September above 5 millimetres