(Sample Material) IAS Online Coaching : India & World Geography - "Australia"

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Subject: India & World Geography

Topic: Australia

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Latitude : 28°15'N 54°30'S
Longitude : 112°09'E 109°12'W
Area: 76,92,850 sq. km
Population : 23.13 million (2013)
Capital : Canberra
Situation : Australia, the only continent that is also a country. It lies between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is surrounded by Timor Sea in the northwest, Arafura Sea and Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, Great Barrier Reef in the northeast and Great Australian Bight in the south. To the south-east of mainland lies the mountainous island of Tasmania.

Island Continent, Australia (Australis), literally called Southern Continent, is the smallest of all the continents. Comprises Australia, New Zealand and other Islands. One of the most sparsely populated and urbanized nation.

Principal states and territories

It is divided into six states and two centrally administered territories of which Western Australia is the largest state while New South Wales is the most populous. It also includes the island of Tasmania. Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania.


Greatest extent, North-South : 3200 km
Greatest extent, East-West : 4000 km


  • Major Physiographic Regions of Australia is—The Great Dividing Range, Central Lowlands and Western Plateau.


The Great Dividing Range

  • The most elevated part of Australia, also known as Eastern Highlands, extends from Cape York Peninsula (Queensland) to Victoria and continues beyond the Bass Strait into Tasmania.
  • Example of block-fault mountains, nowhere wider than 161 km and at places as narrow as 48 km.
  • Major source of minerals, timber, water and hydel-power.
  • Name was given for its function of dividing watersheds, which determines the direction of flow of many rivers.

Central Lowlands

  • Located along the western flanks of the Great Dividing Range from Gulf of Carpentaria in the north of the Great Australian Bight in the South.
  • Consists series of basins, low lying land, lakes and old lake beds.
  • Surface of Lake Eyre is the lowest in the region at about 12 m below sea level.

The region contains two large basins the Great Artesian Basin and the Murray Darling Basin.

The Western Plateau Region

  • A shield made in Pre Cambrian era rich in mineral resources.
  • Australia’s largest structural unit—a high tableland.
  • Contains the desert regions—Great Sandy, Gibson and Great Victoria deserts.
  • Fringe area consists of low lying mountains ranges and vast basins along the coasts.


Western Australia

Major Physiographic Regions

Desert Landscape : Great Sandy desert in the north-west, Gibson desert in the central part lying to the south of Lake Disappointment and Great Victoria desert extending into South Australia.

Highlands and Mountains

Darling Range

  • Running in north-south direction in the south-west of Western Australia.
  • Kimberley Plateau-lies to the north of Great Sandy Desert.
  • Mount Gold Worthy, Mount Whaleback and Mount Tom Price : Major region of iron ore reserves in Western Australia.

Cities of Western Australia


  • Situated on the Swan River, 19 km from the sea.
  • Capital of Western Australia.
  • Manufacturing centre of iron-steel, vehicles, machinery and textiles.


  • Situated on the mouth of Swan River, largest port of Western Australia.

Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie

  • These two cities are located in the southern region of Western Australia.
  • One of the important centre of gold mining in the world.
  • Situated to the north-west of western Australia.

  • Situated to the north-west of western Australia.
  • Known for its iron ore reserves.

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