By Elizabeth J. Leppman
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Extra resources for Australia And the Pacific (Modern World Cultures)
Australia and New Zealand were settled by large numbers of Europeans who came to live permanently and dominated the people they found. In the Pacific islands, fewer Europeans came to live, and the population today comprises primarily descendents of those who lived there before the days of European expansion. Their lives today, however, are quite different from those of their ancestors, who greeted European explorers and traders. POPULATION None of the countries in this region has a very large population.
Fish and a flightless bird called the moa provided ample protein. Not only was the moa flightless, but it also was tame, as it had no natural enemies before people settled the region. Sadly, it was soon hunted to extinction. Growing familiar crops provided some challenges. New Zealand is colder than the tropical islands. Kumara would not Cultural History grow year-round. The people quickly discovered, however, that they could dig up the tubers in the autumn, store them in pits in the earth, and plant them again in the spring.
Until 2004, the northsouth railroad through the middle of the country from Adelaide ended at Alice Springs. In January 2004 the extension north to Darwin finally opened. Alice Springs itself began as a station on a long telegraph line to connect Adelaide to Darwin and then to Singapore (also a British colony) and the world at large. Settlement in New Zealand also hugs the coastline, but for a different reason. The middle of the islands, especially South Island, is mountainous. It is a favorite vacation spot because of its scenery, hiking, camping, and skiing, but few people live in the mountains.