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Australia

Highlights in Australia

Geography of Australia

Australia covers an area of approximately 7.7 million square kilometres, making it the sixth largest country on earth and 22 times as big as Germany. The Commonwealth of Australia is the smallest continent on the planet and is located in the southern hemisphere. The continental landmass of Australia is divided into six states and three territories, along with seven other overseas territories (e.g. the Cocos Islands). The red continent can be split into three geographical regions: the Western Plateau, the Central Lowland and the Eastern Highlands. Australia is both the flattest and the driest inhabited continent, and has three different time zones. The capital of Australia is Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. Canberra is Australia’s largest inland city and its eighth largest overall. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are the best-known cities in Australia.

Geomorphology/Geology

Australia’s large desert areas are located in the Western Plateau, takes up around 60% of the country’s land mass. These areas include the Great Sandy Desert, the Great Victoria Desert and the Nullarbor Plain. In addition to these desert areas, the Western Plateau also contains small mountains and inselbergs. The Central Lowland (also known as the central basin) contains the Simpson Desert. This area is the driest region in the country but also contains Australia’s largest river system. In addition to the country’s lowest point, the area also contains salt lakes and freshwater lakes which dry up periodically.
The majority of Australia’s population lives in the east of the country, as most of the west and central areas are uninhabitable. This region also contains the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Dividing Range, the country’s most striking mountain area. The Great Dividing Range runs from north to south and is greater than 3200 km long. Tasmania is considered a continuation of the Great Dividing Range. The east of the country also contains the Snowy Mountains, Australia’s only Alpine region. Mount Kosciuszko is located here and is the highest mountain in Australia.

Travel Tips and Trivia for Australia

Climate in Australia

Australia can be distinguished into three different climate zones. In the North a tropical climate prevails, the centre ranges from subtropical to desert temperatures, in the South and East the climate is rather moderate. Due to its location in the southern hemisphere the seasons in Australia are inverted: From April till November it is summer, with heavy rainfalls in the North and dry and hot temperatures in the centre and South. In winter (December until April) the North is mainly dry and the rainfalls shift to the South.

Flora and fauna in Australia

Australia, due to its geographical isolation from other countries, is home to a variety of fascinating and unique animals and plants. Over 85% of Australia’s 20,000 species are considered to be endemic, this means that they occur nowhere else but in Australia. Typical plants are the famous eucalyptus tree, different acacia tree species and the giant Baobab tree.

Social Geography of Australia

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