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Geographical description of the continent of Australia


Geographical description of the continent of Australia 

Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere. It extends from the Coal Peninsula in the north (10° 20'S) to Tasmania in the south (43°20'S) and from Hartogaus in the west (112°30'E) to Sydney in the west (153°20'E). 3,940 km and the east-west length is 4,350 km.

In the north-west, Australia is separated from Indonesia by the Timor Ti Arafura Sea and in the north-east it is separated from Papua New Guinea by the Taras Strait. The Coral Islands are separated from Australia by the Coral Sea. 

To the southeast, Australia is separated from New Zealand by the Tasman Sea. In the south, Antarctica is separated from Australia by the Indian Ocean. In other words, it can be said that the continent of Australia is situated between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean.

The total area of Australia including the southern island of Tasmania is 1,75,62,000 square kilometers. It is twice as large as India and comes seventh after Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica and Europe on the basis of area. 

That is why Australia is known as the smallest continent. United Kingdom Due to the maximum distance, Australia is also considered the 'end of the earth', which was discovered by Captain Cook in 788 AD. It is not appropriate to call it the final limit, because after this the sailors discovered many new settlements.


Vast Australia is the smallest, flat and dry continent of the world. Its huge shape has been created by the following factors-

  • Geological movements,
  • River erosion,
  • Frequent changes in climate,
  • Change in sea level.

Australia is called the 'Land of the Great Plains'. The main reason for this is that only 6 percent of Australia is more than 600 meters high. 94 percent of the area is less than 600 meters high. 

Its highest peak is Mount Coricusco with a height of 2,228 metres. Australia is an arid continent. Its 1/3 part is steppe and 1/3 part is generally moist. This fact also affects the surface.

Ground department

From the point of view of surface, Australia can be divided into four regions-

  • Western shield region
  • Fliders-Mount Lofty Highlands
  • Great Artesian Basin
  • Eastern hill region.


The Great Dividing Range is actually a separator between the eastern coast of Australia and the western part. The study of the interior of Australia clarifies the surface.

Western shield region

This region is located in the western part of Australia. If we draw a line from the western edge to the eastern boundary of the Highlands from Carpentaria and then turning to the eastern boundary, take the McDotal Hills, Lake Eyre and Eyre Peninsula towards the west coast, then form the eastern boundary or Croton of the Western Shield. 

The seas to the north, west and east are Eraphua, Timor, Indian Ocean. The Great Australian Bight is the eastern limit. 

On the coasts of Australia, in the north-west, there are small reservoirs, Joseph Bolaparte Bay, Collier Bay, King Sound. Exmouth Bay, Shark Bay on the west coast and Great Australian Bight, Fowler Bay and Spencer Gulf in the south are the main reservoirs.

Land - Its area is 4.5 million square kilometers and half of the area is between 300 and 600 meters. Here there are some long and short straight cut fault lines which divide the shield area into small parts. These landforms are made by geological movements. The direction of these cracks is from north-west to south-east.


1. Highlands- 

Highlands are important on the ground. The Kimberley Plateau and the Mueller Plateau have many sandstone plateaus, mesas and buttes. Arnhemland in the north and the Flibara block in the west coast, which have karst topography. The depressions and ridges are formed to the south of the Kimberley and the Dureck Hills, the Macdonald Hills and the James Hills, where the landforms meet in the south-west of the Highlands and the Stirling Hills. The Daling Hills are made of granite, but covered with laterite. . To the south-east of the Eyre Peninsula is the Gallar Range, which is composed of volcanic rocks of pre-Cambrian age. Here many inselbergs are made of granitic rocks in flat plains. Similar landforms are located in the north-west of South Australia in the Peterman Range, the Tomkinson Range and the Musgrave Range.

2. Lowlands

(a) Yukla Basin – This region was formed when Antarctica, Eocene era separated from Australia . It is a karst area, but being flat, the Trans Australian Railway line of about 460 kilometers has been built which passes through this basin.

(b) Barclay- Tableland- This area is situated between the Isa Highlands and Aranta Sturt block. It is also completely flat.

(c) Salineland- This area is situated in the west. This area is also flat and wide. Here the old rivers appear like stripes due to being covered with salty layers.

(d) Gibson Desert - This region is a flat plain covered with laterite soil.


3. Desert - 

The Australian Shield is mainly a desert region. Some of the main deserts are the Great Sadie Desert, the Great Victoria Desert, to the north of which lies the Canning Basin as well as the Gibson, Amadeus Trench. Aranta is the desert area of Sturt block. This desert extends to the Great Artesian Basin where the Simpson Desert is located in the west.

The source of soil in the desert is the rivers, which bring the soil here by flowing from other areas due to rain. Rivers bring the air and soil produced by erosion from the highlands to the plains. These piles of soil get frozen in the sand dunes. Precipitation is low, but sufficient in the southwest to cause seasonal rivers. Many rivers and watersheds are formed.

Laterite soil is spread over this vast area. Due to the sometimes hot and sometimes humid weather in this region, the temperature is not high. It appears that this soil has come here due to the movements of the Tertiary era. 

Many rivers were formed here, whose remaining parts can be seen in Nuralbor Plain, Great Victoria Desert and Amadeus Desert. At other places, there is a poor drainage system.

Climatic variations are clearly visible by the nature of the landforms. Due to the inertia of vegetation, sand stupas have remained permanent. Here it is evident that the climate has quickly become humid; But the opposite situation is found in the north. When the climate was moist. 

The Kudus Lake, Barkly Tableland were once part of the marshy area. On the other hand, when the climate is dry, the lake, which has an area of 2,849 square kilometers, reduces to about 180 square kilometers.


4. Ancient landforms – 

Rift action and other surface changes are clearly visible from the eroded surface. These residual regions are visible above the local levels. 

Such landforms have been formed many times in many areas such as in the past in artesian basins. Such landforms are found in the south, in central Australia and in the northwestern part of Queensland. 

This ancient shield is similar to the peninsula of India, which was assembled in a geologic era. These evidences are found in minerals and ancient climate. Which are found on the west and east coast of Australia.