Posted By John
Overview of Australia

Overview of Australia
General    Geography    People    Government    Economy    Communications    Transportation    Military

Australian Geography

See also on our website  – Australian Deserts  –  Australia’s Highest and Biggest  –  Comparing Coastlines of Countries

Location Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean
Geographic coordinates 27 00 S, 133 00 E
Area total
7,686,850 sq km
7,617,930 sq km
68,920 sq km
includes Lord Howe Island & Macquarie Island
Area – comparative slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states
Coastline 25,760 km
Maritime claims territorial sea
contiguous zone
exclusive economic zone
continental shelf
12 nm
24 nm
200 nm
200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Terrain mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
Elevation extremes lowest point
highest point
Lake Eyre -15 m
Mount Kosciuszko 2,229 m
Natural resources bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum
Land use
arable land

permanent crops

6.15% (includes about 27 million hectares of
cultivated grassland)
Irrigated land
25,450 sq km
Renewable water resources  (1995) 398 cu km
Freshwater withdrawal
per capita: 1,193 cu m/yr
total: 24.06 cu km/yr
(15% domestic – 10% industrial – 75% agricultural)
Natural hazards cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires
Environment issues soil erosion from overgrazing, industrial development, urbanization, and poor farming practices; soil salinity rising due to the use of poor quality water; desertification; clearing for agricultural purposes threatens the natural habitat of many unique animal and plant species; the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast, the largest coral reef in the world, is threatened by increased shipping and its popularity as a tourist site; limited natural fresh water resources
Environment –
international agreements
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note world’s smallest continent but sixth-largest country; population concentrated along the eastern and south-eastern coasts; the invigorating sea breeze known as the “Fremantle Doctor” affects the city of Perth on the west coast, and is one of the most consistent winds in the world

Updated August 2011. You may notice that we show information from a variety of dates. We are unable to find the same type of information for more recent dates than what we show here. The information provided above is for entertainment purposes only. For more information, please visit any of the Australian government websites and the CIA World Fact Book

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