26 January

On the other side of the Earth it is hot right now. It’s summer in Australia. Australians celebrate Australia Day on 26 January. It’s a day they celebrate their great country. It’s a family holiday when people spend time together.
So while we’re skiing and skating, Australians have a day off, have a barbecue, watch cricket on TV, and enjoy their day, usually on the beach. Many wear clothes with the Aussie flag. They watch fireworks at night and eat lamingtons, the national cake of Australia.

Quick facts
*Australia is made up of six states and two territories. The states are Southern Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. The two territories are Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory which lies around Canberra.
*The capital city is Canberra. Major cities are Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide.
*The official name of Australia is the Commonwealth of Australia. The official head is the British monarch. Australia is also called ‘Down Under’ and Australians are called ‘Aussies’.

Let’s go to Australia
Thanks to COVID-19 pandemic, Australia is closed to tourists. Tourists can’t visit the country and the Aussies can’t travel outside their country now. Let’s take a reading trip to this beautiful country.

Cowboy country
Australia is a real cowboy country. It’s home to about 25 million cows and the Australian meat is famous. The cowboys are called ‘stockmen’ in Australia.
Uluru, the largest lone-standing rock
Aboriginals were the first people in Australia. They knew how to live in the Australian deserts where life is very hard. One of the Aboriginal places to see is Uluru. It is a large red rock in the desert. Uluru changes colour from yellow to red.
Colours of the sea
Do you like corals and coral fish? The Great Barrier Reef is the place for you, then. It’s the largest coral reef in the world. It’s home to millions of fish and other animals of all colours. However, the Reef is dying. The corals are dying because the water is getting warmer. It’s very sad.
Boxing with kangaroos – better not!
People who love animals often watch kangaroos, koalas, emus, and other animals which live only in Australia. Kangaroos often live close to the people because people love to give food to them. It isn’t a good idea. Kangaroos then want more food and if they don’t get it, they can start boxing. Some people have tried boxing with kangaroos but please, do not try it. Kangaroos can kill a person.
Sydney – from the beach to the opera
3 kilometres of sand, sun and surfing that’s Bondi Beach. Australia has many fine beaches, but Bondi Beach is one of the best. It’s a place where you can swim, surf, or watch sharks and dolphins. If you love music, go to the Sydney Opera House, the most famous building in Australia. There are 40 concerts and other shows a week – from opera to rock concerts. Of course, everybody has to wear a mask now.
What to eat in Australia?
Which are the most popular foods in Australia? Of course, many people love fish and chips, chicken, and burgers. Lamington is the national cake – try to find its picture and recipe on the Internet. However, grilled kangaroo is a special Australian recipe, but many Aussies would NEVER eat a kangaroo, their national animal.

What is it?
An animal with can jump well and is a symbol of Australia: _________
The people who were first in Australia: ______________
The place where it’s very dry and you need to take a lot of water: ________
A big city with the famous Opera House: ____________
The place where you can see a lot of fish and corals: ____________
Australian cowboys who look after cows are called: ____________

Key: kangaroo, Aboriginals, desert, Sydney, The Great Barier Reef, stockmen