National Geographic : 1963 Sep
AUSTRALIA ON MAPS - OLD AND NEW GEOGRAPHERS invented Australia long before the first Europeans dis covered it. In a spinning world, they reasoned, such a land mass had to exist-to balance the great weight of the Northern Hemisphere. So they put it on the map. A fanciful 1587 concept of the land down under (opposite page) contrasts strangely with the most up-to-date map available: Atlas Plate 59, Australia, accompanying this issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. The new map, scaled at 110 miles to the inch, vividly depicts a unique continent-coun try and its major problems: Australia is dry. It is three-quarters empty. Its vast terrain holds abundant natural riches. How can space and natural wealth be problems? Look at the top of the new map. Along the left lies the southern edge of Indo nesia, a crowded country of 96,000,000 people hungry for land, food, and resources. Beyond sprawls Communist China, the world's most populous country-and one of its poorest. To these crammed millions, Australia's emptiness is an invitation; its prosperity glitters enviably. In this issue, Alan Villiers describes a six-month trip through the conti nent. Everywhere, Australians told him in effect: We must fill this land or lose it. Australia's emptiness shows dramatically on the map. Look at the place names above the word "WESTERN" in "WESTERN AUS TRALIA": Poonda, Ethel Creek, Walgun, Bal four Downs. These are not villages. They, and hundreds of other names, pinpoint home steads on sheep or cattle stations, represented by a small hollow circle. On a map of a nation almost as big as the United States, cartogra phers can label individual farmhouses! Australian place names themselves are worth reading. Based often on aboriginal words, they show a musical fondness for double "o"s. In New South Wales, you may live in Woolgoolga; or in Western Australia, Visiting monarch, Queen Elizabeth II receives a bow from Sir Maurice Nathan, ceremonially robed Lord Mayor of Melbourne. Prince Philip watches parading Scots during the city's Moomba Festival. In 386 1963 the royal couple crisscrossed Australia by plane and cruised its shores in the royal yacht Britannia.