June 9, 2015

1641 AUSTRALIA (Cocos (Keeling) Islands) - Aerial views of the islands

Cocos (Keeling) Islands is a territory of Australia, located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Christmas Island and approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka. The territory consists of two flat, low-lying coral atolls and 27 coral islands, of which two, West Island and Home Island, are inhabited with a total population of approximately 600. The climate is pleasant, moderated by the southeast trade winds for about nine months of the year and with moderate rainfall. There are no rivers or lakes on either atoll. Fresh water resources are limited to water lenses on the larger islands, underground accumulations of rainwater lying above the seawater. These lenses are accessed through shallow bores or wells.

In 1609, Captain William Keeling was the first European to see the islands, but they remained uninhabited until the 19th century, being annexed by the British Empire in 1857. On 9 November 1914 the islands became the site of the Battle of Cocos, one of the first naval battles of WWI, between the German cruiser SMS Emden and the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney, ended by the victory of the Australians. In WWII was held there a mutiny. On 23 November 1955, the islands were transferred to Australian control. They are geostrategically important because of their proximity to Indian Ocean and South China Sea shipping lanes.

About the stamps
The stamps are part of the series Australian Floral Emblems, designed by Jo Muré and issued on March 24, 2014:
Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) - the floral emblem of Australia (0.70 AUD) - It's on the postcard
Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) - the floral emblem of Tasmania (0.70 AUD) - It's on the postcard
Waratah (Telopea speciosissima) - the floral emblem of New South Wales (0.70 AUD) - It's on the postcard
Common Heath (Epacris impressa) - the floral emblem of Victoria (0.70 AUD)
Cooktown Orchid (Dendrobium phalaenopsis) - the floral emblem of Queensland (1.40 AUD)
Red and Green Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii) - the floral emblem of Western Australia (2.10 AUD)
Sturt’s Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa) - the floral emblem of South Australia (3.50 AUD)

Cocos (Keeling) Islands - Wikipedia

Sender: Karen & Dieter
Sent from ??? (Cocos Islands / Australia), on 30.01.2015
Photo: Karen Willshaw

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