Australia Geography - a Land of Contrasts

Australia geography is surprisingly varied. It is a 7.7 million sq km continent surrounded by water, with lush coastal vegetation and ancient rainforests.

But the largest part of the country is relatively arid. Different climatic zones create diverse and rich ecosystems.

Australia is the oldest place on earth. Its land is many million years old. This gives its features an ancient look and feel.

twelve apostles in victoria Twelve Apostles - Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Australia native plant

The leafy gum trees with large cauliflower shaped canopies and the cycads resemble Jurassic Park vegetation.

You walk quietly in the rainforest and the thought that a... dinosaur might just be around the corner can easily cross your mind.

Nothing to worry about... most animals in Australia, are small.

When you think of Australian landscape you can count three segments: the Western Plateau, Central Lowlands and Eastern Highlands.

Stunning Features Break Up the Australian Continent

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Several mountain ranges such as the Hamersley, rich in iron, or the MacDonnell Ranges break the red flatness of the Western Plateau.

Much of the centre of Australia is flat, desert or semi arid. And in the middle of it rises the Uluru or the Ayers Rock, the most recognised symbol of Australia geography.

Going south you can meet the Flinders Range, a spectacular mountain range in South Australia. It is also one of the oldest landscapes on earth. It contains traces of the first life on earth, marine fossils.

Another stunning feature is the vast Nullarbor ("no trees") Plain, which stretches on 250,000 sq km along the Coast of the Great Australian Bight.

The great majority of population of Australia lives along the east and south east coasts. The Eastern Highlands separate the narrow eastern coastal plain from the rest of the continent.

The Highlands rise softly from central Australia towards several high plateaus that culminate with Mount Kosciuszko (2228 m high).

Australia Geography - Fascinating Diversity

If you are a sports lover and fit enough, you could surf the waves of the Tasman sea on a warmer winter morning and hit the ski slopes several hours later. This is how diverse Australia's geography is.

The Great Dividing Range runs along Australia's eastern coast from North Queensland down to New South Wales and Victoria. It separates rivers flowing to Central Australia from those flowing to the Pacific.

The longest river in Australia, the Murray travels more than 2500 km and wets parts of the three eastern states.

But the most visited natural destination is the Great Barrier Reef, extending over 2000 km along Queensland's coast and covering some 900 islands.

Australia geography - australian beach One of the many Australian beaches

Even if known more for its beautiful beaches, red dessert and tropical forests the geography of Australia includes snow capped mountains and glacial lakes in Tasmania. This smallest state of Australia is one of the great wilderness destinations of the world.

A fascinating mix of flora and fauna abounds down under. A truly wonderful destination to visit or choose to live in.

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