The New Guinea Highlands are one of the few regions close to the equator that experience snowfall, which occurs in the most elevated parts of the mainland. Papua New Guinea became self-governing on 1 December 1973 and achieved independence on 16 September 1975. The continent of Australia, sometimes known in technical contexts by the names Sahul (/səˈhuːl/), Australinea, or Meganesia to distinguish it from the country of Australia, consists of the landmasses which sit on Australia's continental plate. Because of this diversity, in which they take pride, many different styles of cultural expression have emerged; each group has created its own expressive forms in art, performance art, weaponry, costumes and architecture.  Melbourne also ranked highly in the world's most liveable city list, and is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region. It is the smallest of the seven traditional continents. But let’s zero in on two somewhat popular and accepted views at looking at the issue.The first one goes like this: The Australian continent consists of three sovereign countries which are Australia (the country) itself, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.  Captain Arthur Phillip led the First Fleet of 11 ships and about 850 convicts into Sydney on 26 January 1788. , Indigenous Australians, that is Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander people, are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. Typical Southern Hemisphere flora include the conifers Podocarpus (eastern Australia and New Guinea), the rainforest emergents Araucaria (eastern Australia and New Guinea), Nothofagus (New Guinea and Tasmania) and Agathis (northern Queensland and New Guinea), as well as tree ferns and several species of Eucalyptus. When South America eventually separated from Antarctica, the development of the cold Antarctic Circumpolar Current changed weather patterns across the world. The continent of Australia is sometimes known by the names Sahul, Australinea, or Meganesia to distinguish it from the country of Australia, and consists of the landmasses which sit on Australia's continental plate. , Continental landmass on the Australian Plate, This article is about the landmasses on the continental plate. Christianity is the predominant religion in the continent, although large proportions of Australians belong to no religion.  In 2015, there were 7.4 million visitor arrivals. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area.The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. There are 14 countries in Oceania today, according to United Nations official statistics. Because the continent was more isolated than any other, very few outside species arrived to colonise, and unique native forms developed unimpeded. Europe's richest man, Amancio Ortega, has been ranked as the world's 4th wealthiest man. Reverence for the land and oral traditions are emphasized.  Many Papuans combine their Christian faith with traditional indigenous beliefs and practices. The constitutional convention, which prepared the draft constitution, and Australia, the outgoing metropolitan power, had thought that Papua New Guinea would not remain a monarchy.  Australia, the largest landmass in the continent, is highly urbanised, and has the world's 14th-largest economy with the second-highest human development index globally. It is one of the largest countries on Earth. Phillip described Sydney Cove as being "without exception the finest harbour in the world". The first Australians are thought to have come about forty thousand to sixty thousand years ago from New Guinea and Indonesia, establishing a population of at least 350 thousand before the first European contact. The country joined the United Nations (UN) on 10 October 1975. For Australia–New Guinea, it brought a marked intensification of the drying trend.  Australia fought on the side of Britain in the two world wars and became a long-standing ally of the United States when threatened by Imperial Japan during World War II.  The Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney is the largest stock exchange in Australia and in the South Pacific.  Papua New Guinea is classified as a developing economy by the International Monetary Fund. In 1660, the Dutch recognised the Sultan of Tidore's sovereignty over New Guinea. Temperatures in Australia have ranged from above 50 °C (122 °F) to well below 0 °C (32 °F). The collision also pushed up the islands of Wallacea, which served as island 'stepping-stones' that allowed plants from Southeast Asia's rainforests to colonise New Guinea, and some plants from Australia–New Guinea to move into Southeast Asia. Both are correct. The region Australia contains the countries of Australia and New Zealand. 14 countries of Australia and Oceania with their capitals in alphabetical order. These regions are : Australia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. That means that when you say Australia, you can be referring to either Australia the country, or Australia the continent (which includes 3 countries). During the past 18,000 to 10,000 years, rising sea levels overflowed the lowlands and separated the continent into today's low-lying arid to semi-arid mainland and the two mountainous islands of New Guinea and Tasmania.. When sea levels were lower during the Pleistocene ice age, including the Last Glacial Maximum about 18,000 BC, they were connected by dry land.  Scientists, such as Gerardus Mercator (1569) and Alexander Dalrymple as late as 1767 argued for its existence, with such arguments as that there should be a large landmass in the south as a counterweight to the known landmasses in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent primarily sits on the Indo-Australian Plate. Autumn in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales. Fiji 3. Strictly taken, the Heard and McDonald Islands also belong to the country of Australia but are geographically attributed to the Antarctic continent. Finally, despite the fact that the continent was already very old and thus relatively infertile, there are dispersed areas of high fertility.  The name "Sahul" takes its name from the Sahul Shelf, which is part of the continental shelf of the Australian continent. It is estimated that more than 7000 different cultural groups exist in Papua New Guinea, and most groups have their own language.  Sydney is the most multicultural city in Oceania, having more than 250 different languages spoken with about 40 percent of residents speaking a language other than English at home. Soccer is one of the all-time favorite games of this region. Carlos Pedro Vairo, TERRA AUSTRALIS Historical Charts of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica. Australia is also the flattest continent after Antarctica.Australia is a very urban country. For about 40 million years Australia–New Guinea was almost completely isolated.  Trade between New Guinea and neighboring Indonesian islands was documented as early as the seventh century, and archipelagic rule of New Guinea by the 13th. Other Olympic sports are also gaining popularity, such as boxing and weightlifting. Copyrights Reserves 2013-2019 by 7continentslist.com. The great inland seas and lakes dried out. It is the smallest of the seven traditional continents in the English conception. Situated in the geographical region of Oceania, Australia is the smallest continent in land area. , Papua New Guinea is rich in natural resources, which account for two-thirds of their export earnings.  Strong growth in Papua New Guinea's mining and resource sector led to the country becoming the sixth fastest-growing economy in the world in 2011.  West Papua, a province of Indonesia, is home to an estimated 44 uncontacted tribal groups. Huge areas of land are so dry that they are uninhabited. Papua New Guinea is a Commonwealth realm. They migrated from Africa to Asia around 70,000 years ago and arrived in Australia at least 50,000 years ago, based on archaeological evidence. Briefly about the best capital cities for life and travel on this continent.  Australia–New Guinea has also been used..  His expedition became the first recorded Europeans to have encountered the eastern coastline of Australia. Rome - the capital of Italy, is at the top of list of European tourist attractions. Albert-Marie-Ferdinand Anthiaume, "Un pilote et cartographe havrais au XVIe siècle: Guillaume Le Testu". Situated in the geographical region of Oceania, Australia is the smallest of the seven traditional continents. 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