Slike strani
PDF
ePub

qual to 1 mile to each 333 square miles of land—the smallest proportion i coast shown by any of the continents. Tasmania, to the south of le mainland, is separated from Victoria by Bass Straits, about 150 iles wide. New Zealand is opposite the south-eastern coast of iustralia, the width of ocean intervening, known as the Tasman Sea, eing about 1,100 miles.

New South Wales lies principally between the 29th and 36th arallels of south latitude, and between the 141st and 153rd meridians f east longitude. The length of the state, from Point Danger on the lorth to Cape Howe on the south, is 680 miles. From east to west, ilong the 29th parallel, the breadth is 760 miles; while diagonally, rom the south-west corner - where the Murray passes into South Australia-to Point Danger, the length reaches 850 miles. The seaboard extends over 700 miles. There are no islands of importance on the cast of New South Wales. Lord Howe Island, some 400 miles northeast of Sydney, fornis a portion of the state. The Imperial Government handed over the administration of Norfolk Island to New South Wales in 1897, and in that year a Resident Magistrate was appointed as representative of the New South Wales Government.

Victoria is situated between the 34th and 39th parallels of south latitude, and the 141st and 150th meridians of east longitude. The dividing line between Victoria and South Australia was fixed as the 141st meridian of east longitude, but through an error in survey the present recognised boundary falls about 11 mile west of the 141st meridian. The mistake tells against South Australia, and the authorities oi that state have been demanding for many years a re-adjustment of territory, but there seems little prospect of a disturbance of the present arrangement. The extreme length of Victoria from east to west is 420 miles, and the breadth 250 miles. The coast-line is about 600 miles.

Queensland extends from the 11th to the 29th parallel of south latitude, and from the 138th to the 153rd meridian of east longitude. The boundary line separating the state from South Australia extends northwards along the 141st meridian of east longitude as far as the 26th parallel of south latitude, thence along the 138th meridian of cast longitude to the seaboard. This line also requires re-adjustment, the present reputed boundary being in all probability too far eastward. The greatest length from north to south is 1,300 miles, and the greatest

readth is 800 miles. The coast-line is about 2,550 miles. The coast of Queensland in some parts is studded with islands. The largest are strailbroke and Moreton on the south-east coast; while Thursday Island, on the far north coast, is an important place of call, and has been strongly fortified as one of the lines of defence for the states of the eastern seaboard.

The island of New Guinea lies close to the northern extremity of Queensland, being separated from the mainland by Torres Straits. It 25 occupied by Dutch, English, and German colonists. The British colony of New Guinea, in addition to the portion of the mainland proclaimed as British territory, embraces all those groups of islands lrize within the 141st and 155th meridians of east longitude, and the 8th and 12th parallels of south latitude. The government is vested in an Administrator and an Executive Council ; and towards the expenses of government the three states on the eastern seaboard of Australia contributed each £5,000 annually until the Federal Government took over the territory in 1901, since when the expenses of administration have, of course, been borne by the Commonwealth. By an Act passed in 1887 Queensland engaged for ten years to hold itself primarily responsible for the whole anount of this subsidy, and the State continued to do so up to the time of the transfer of the territory. The area of British New Guinea is estimated to be 90,000 square miles, and the native population at 350,000.

South Australia extends from the 11th to the 38th parallel of south latitude, and from the 129th to the 141st meridian of east longitude. The province of South Australia, properly so called, lies between the 38th and 26th parallels of south latitude, and the 141st and 129th meridians of east longitude ; the Northern Territory is bounded by the 26th and 11th parallels of south latitude, and the 129th and 138th meridians of east longitude. The greatest length of the states from north to south is 1,850 miles, and the greatest breadth is 650 miles, with a seaboard of 2,000 miles, of which about 900 miles are washed by the Indian Ocean, the Arafura Sea, and the waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The most important islands belonging to the state art Kangaroo Island on the south coast, 85 miles long and 30 broad; Melville Island, off Port Darwin, on the northern coast; Bathurst Island, separated from the last-mentioned by Apsley Straits; and Groote Eyland, in the Gulf of Carpentaria. A stockade was erected by Captain Bremer on Melville Island in 1824, but was abandoned in 1829.

Western Australia consists of the country between the 14th and 35th parallels of south latitude, and the 113th and 129th meridians of east longitude. The greatest length north and south is 1,450 miles, and the greatest breadth from east to west is 850 miles. The coast-line is about 3,000 miles.

Tasmania is an island situated about 150 miles south of Victoria, from which it is separated by Bass Straits. It lies between 40° 33' and 43° 39' south latitude, and the meridians of 141° 39' and 148° 23' east longitude. Its greatest length from north to south is 210 miles, and its greatest breailth from east to west is 200 miles.

There are several small islands which belong to the State. Flinders' Island, in Bass Straits, has an area of 513,000 acres; and King's Island, the chief of the north-west group, contains 272,000 acres. Including the adjacent islands, the area of Tasmania is 26,215 square miles.

New Zealand lies to the east of Australia, its nearest point to the mainland being Cape Maria van Diemen, which is about 1,100 miles from Sugarloaf Point, in New South Wales. New Zealand and its

lependencies lie between the 33ril and 53rd parallels of south latitude, ind between 166° 30' east longitude and 173° west longitude. The Taters known as the Tasman Sea separate the colony from the coninent of Australia.

The North Island, or New Ulster, has a length of about 515 miles, by a breadth of about 250 miles. Its area is estimated at 44,467 square niles, and its coast-line at 2,200 miles. Wellington, the seat of Governnent, is at the southern extremity of this island. The South or, as it is officially called, the Middle Island or New Munster, has a length of about 525 miles by a breadth of about 180 miles. Its area is 58,525 square miles, and its coast-line measures 2,000 miles. Stewart Island, or New Leinster, lies off the southern extremity of South Island, and has an area of 665 square miles; its greatest length is 30 miles by a breadth of 25 miles.

In 1887 a proclamation was made declaring the Kermadec Islands, lying between the 29th and 32nd parallels of south latitude, and the 177th and 180th meridians of west longitude, part of the colony of New Zealand. Until the 11th June, 1901, a protectorate was exercised by the Imperial Government over the Cook Islands or Hervey Group, but on that date a proclamation was issued extending the boundaries of the colony so as to include this group, and also any other islands lying between 8° and 23° south latitude, and 167° and 156° west longitude, with a further additional rectangle bounded by 17° and 23° south latitude, and 170° and 167° west longitude. The islands bounded by these lines are as follow :—The Cook Group, including Raratonga, Vangaia, Atiu, Aitutaki, Mitiaro, Mauke, Hervey, Palmerston, Savage, Puka-puka, Rakaanga, Manahiki, Penryhn, and Suwarrow.

Including the Chatham Islands, the Auckland Islands, the Campbell Islands, the Bounty Islands, and many others which are dependent, the total area of the colony of New Zealand is estimated at 104,751 square miles.

350

CLIMATE.

45° 50° 559

THE
HE Tropic of Capricorn divides Australia into two parts. Of these

the northern or inter-tropical portion contains 1,145,000 square iniles, comprising half of Queensland, the Northern Territory of South Australia, and the north-western divisions of Western Australia. The whole of New South Wales, Victoria, New Zealand, Tasmania, ami South Australia proper, half of Queensland, and more than half of Western Australia, comprising 1,932,000 square miles, are without the tropics. In a region so extensive, very great varieties of climate are naturally to be expected, but it may be stated as a general law that the climate of Australasia is milder than that of corresponding lan is in the Northern Hemisphere. During July, which is the coldest month in southern latitudes, one half of Australasia has a mean temperature ranging from 40° to 64', and the other half from 64° to 80%. The following are the areas subject to the various average temperatures during the month referred to :-Temperature, Fahr.

Area in sq. miles. 35° 40°

300 40° 45°

39,700 50°

$8,000 55°

617,800 60°

681,800

834,400 65° 70°

515,000 70° 750

275,900 75° 80°

24,500 The temperature during December ranges from 50° to above 95° Fahr., half of Australasia having a mean temperature below 83o. Dividing the land into zones of average summer temperature, the following are the areas which would fall to each :Temperature, Fahr.

65°

Area in sq. miles. 50°

300 55° 60°

66,300 60° 65°

111,300 65° 70°

74,300 70° 75°

362,300
75° 80°

439,200
80°
85°

733,600
S5o 90°

570,600 90° 95°

584,100 95° and over

135,400 Judging from the figures just given, it must be conceded that a considerable area of the continent is not adapted for colonisation by European races. The region with a mean summer temperature in excess of 95° Fahr. is the interior of the Northern Territory of South Australia north of

55 ..

the 20th parallel; and the whole of the country, excepting the seaboard, lying between the meridians of 120° and 140° and north of the 25th parallel, has a mean temperature in excess of 90° Fahr.

Climatically, as well as geographically, New South Wales is divided into three marked divisions. The coastal region, which lies between the parallels of 28° and 37° south · latitude, has an average summer temperature ranging from 78° in the north to 67° in the south, with a winter temperature of from 59° to 52o. Taking the district generally, the difference between the mean summer and mean winter temperature may be set down as averaging not more than 20', a range smaller than is found in most other parts of the world. The famed resorts on the Mediterranean seaboard bear no comparison with the Pacific slopes of New South Wales, either for natural salubrity or for the comparative mildness of the summer and winter.

Sydney, situated as it is midway between the extreme points of the state, in latitude 33° 51' S., has a mean temperature of 63°, corresponding with that of Barcelona, the great maritime city of Spain, and of Toulon, in France; the former being in latitude 41° 22' N., and the latter in 43° 7' N. At Sydney the mean summer temperature is 70-8°, and that of winter 53:9o. The range is thus 16.9° Fahr. At Naples, where the mean temperature for the year is about the same as at Sydney, the summer temperature reaches a mean of 74.4°, and the mean of winter is +7:6°, with a range of 26.8°. Thus the summer is warmer, and the winter much colder, than at Sydney. The highest temperature in the shade experienced in Sydney was 109°, and the lowest winter temperature 36°, giving a range of 73o. At Naples the range has been as great as 81°, the winter minimum falling sometimes below the freezing-point. The mean temperature of Sydney for a long series of years was—spring 62°, summer 71°, autumn 64°, and winter 54°.

Passing from the coast to the table-land, a distinct climatic region is entered. Cocma, with a mean summer temperature of 65.4° and a mean winter temperature of 41:4°, may be taken as illustrative of the climate of the southern table-land, and Armidale of the northern. The firstnamed town stands in the centre of the Monaro plains, at an elevation of 2,637 feet above sea level, and enjoys a summer as mild as either London or Paris, while its winters are far less severe. On the New England table-land, the climate of Armidale and other towns may be considered as nearly perfect as can be found. The yearly average temperature is scarcely 56.5°, while the summer only reaches 67.7°, and the winter falls to 44:4’, a range of temperature approximating closely to that of the famous health-resorts in the south of France.

The climatic conditions of the western districts of the state are entirely different from those of the other two regions, and have often been cited as disagreeable. Compared with the equable temperature of the coastal district or of the table-land, there may appear some justification for such a reputation, but only by comparison. The climato of the great plains, in spite of the heat of part of the summer, is very

« PrejšnjaNaprej »