Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Great Artesian Basin

The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) is one of the largest and deepest artesian groundwater basins in the world. With an area of over 661,000 square miles, the Basin underlies approximately 22% of the Australian continent reaching depths of 9800 feet. The temperature of the water ranges from 85 to 215 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the high mineralization, the water cannot directly be used for human consumption, however it can be used for crops and livestock. Due to it's vast size, the Basin plays an important role in providing fresh water for central and eastern Australia. With careful use, the Basin should last for hundreds of years, providing fresh water for many generations.

Steaming water flows from a natural well in the Great Artesian Basin

Gondwana Rainforest

Formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia, the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia located between Newcastle and Brisbane, and includes the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world. Although the rainforest only covers about 0.3% of Australia, it contains about half of all Australian plant families and about a third of Australia's mammal and bird species.,%20Australia.pdf

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Pinnacles

Located in Western Australia near the town of Cervantes, in the Nambung National Park, stand the limestone formations know as the Pinnacles. Formed thousands of years ago from deposits of seashells, these formations reach heights of over 15 feet. Although it is a three-hour drive from the city of Perth, the Pinnacles are regarded as one of Australia's most unique landscapes. If they are as interesting as it sounds, it might be well worth the trip.

The Bungle Bungle

Discovered in just 1983 by a film team, the area soon became a popular tourist destination. The small range known to the Aboriginal people as Pumululu draws visitors year round to witness the unique formations for themselves. The Bungle Bungle formations are the rounded rock towers alternately striped in orange and black which rise from the floor of Piccaninny Gorge.
At dusk, these Bungle Bungle rock formations seem to glow eeriely in the half light displaying a sight one must actually be there to fully experience.

Wave Rock

A natural formation found in the western Australia city of Hyden, this large granite formation attracts over 140,000 tourists each year. Wave Rock stands over 50 feet high, and is over 350 feet long. This ancient site holds significant curtural meaning to the Aborigines. Although this is a small formation, I mean, it's not as significant as the Great Barrier Reef, or the Great Dividing Range, I still feel it is well worth mentioning because of it's impact on people across all of Australia, and especiallly in the area of Hyden.

Shipwreck Coast

Stretching along the coast of Victoria, and home to the famous limestone formations known as "the Twelve Apostles," is Australia's Shipwreck Coast. This section of coastline is made up of cliffs, reef, islands and outcrops of rocks. In combination with the winds and the often stormy seas, sailing these waters could be very dangerous. Along the stretch of the Victorian coast from Port Fairy to Cape Otway alone there have been over 80 shipwrecks, with over 200 known wrecks along the total coast line. The Twelve Apostles formations are situated along the coast, standing up to 45 meters high. This area is the most recognizable and most photographed area of the Shipwreck Coast.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Murray-Darling River System

The Murray River and its main tributary, the Darling River, are the two main rivers in the Murray-Darling River Basin. The Murray-Darling Basin measures over one million square kilometres, which is almost one-seventh of all the land in Australia. When measured from its source in Queensland to its mouth in South Australia, the Murray is over 1700 miles long.  Darling River has a large amount of Aboriginal and European history, contributes to the nation’s wealth, and has an environment all it's own.

The Murray-Darling Basin is Australia’s most important agricultural region, accounting for over 39 per cent of Australia’s gross value in agricultural production. Three quarters of Australia's irrigated crops and pastures are grown in the Basin.

The Basin's most valuable resource is water. The water in the Murray-Darling river system comes from a very small percentage of the Basin area; mainly along the southern and eastern rim. Almost 86% of the vast 'catchment' area contributes very little or no regular run-off to rivers.

Major Landforms of Australia

Here is a brief summary of the major landforms in Australia, taken from the World Atlas. This gives a list of the main ones with a short description of each.

Ayers Rock - After kangaroos, this is probably the most significant natural icon of the "Land Down Under". Considered the largest solitary rock on the planet, it stands 1,143 feet high and can be seen for miles.

Cape York Peninsula - Home to jagged-tooth mountains, rainforest, swamps, and grasslands, it is considered the world's "last wilderness."

Fraser Island - Australia's fourth largest island, and the largest sand island on earth.

Great Dividing Range - Located along the eastern and southeastern portion of Australia, this mountain range divides the central dry regions from the coastal areas. Mount Kosciusko, the highest point in Australia is located in these mountains (Australian Alps). Also in the Great Dividing Range are the Blue Mountains, one of the most beautiful locations on earth, and Australia's most visited.

Great Sandy Desert - Located in western Australia, this dry, arid expanse of land received little rain, and few visitors. This desert is famous for its red sand dunes.

Darling/Murray River System - 1160 miles in length, the Darling river is the longest river in Australia and joins with the Murray River, the widest. It begins in the Australian Alps, and flows into the Spencer Gulf.

Great Barrier Reef - The World's largest coral deposit. Famous for its breath-taking beauty, and vast variety of wildlife.

If you wnat to read more about the major landforms of Australia, visit the site below -

Mountains of Australia

Although Australia is the flattest of all the continents, like all the others, it too has mountains. The mountian ranges of Australia are often not compared to the Andes, Rockies, or Himalayas, but they bring a beauty and uniquness all their own. Most of the Australian mountain ranges are situated in the area known as Snowy Mountains which is part of the Great Dividing Range (one of the longest mountain ranges in the world). The Great Dividing Range separates the eastern highlands and central lowlands of Australia. The highest mountain in Australia is Mount Kosciuszko (pictured below) in the Australian Alps, which stands 7310 feet (2228 meters) in height.

The following are ten of the most significant mountain areas of Australia:
1. Blue Mountains
2. Kings Canyon (Watarrka)
3. Snowy Mountains
4. Mount Arapiles
5. Cradle Mountain
6. Victorian Alps
7. Glasshouse Mountains
8. MacDonnell Ranges
9. Flinders Ranges
10. Great Dividing Ranges

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

National Geographic - the Great Barrier Reef

This video is a product of National Geographic. I found it to be very informative. Please take a couple minutes to watch it, if you can - it'll be well worth it! They do a fantastic job capturing the breath-taking beauty of the Reef. The countless numbers of colorful fish, the vivid colors of the coral, and the quiet life under the surface all come together in this great film. Now, when are you planning your trip to Australia...?

The Great Barrier Reef

One of the seven wonders of the natural world, and one that is visible from outer space, lies just off the western/northwestern coast of Australia - the Great Barrier Reef. This magnificent work of nature, consisting of over 300 reefs, and 600 islands is my first area of interest. The total area of the reef expands over an area almost the size of California.

Coral of all differet colors and types make up the various reefs and kays of the Great Barrier Reef. The shallow warm waters make up the ideal condition for coral.  The Great Barrier Reef area abounds with wildlife, having it's own ecosystem. Varieties of dolphins, whales, more than 1500 species of fish, and more than 200 species of birds make their homes in this area.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Australia -

Have you ever wanted to travel? Visit new places? Australia has always been on the top of my list of places to see! In my blog I hope to cover some of the vast natural beauty of this island continent.

Australia has many physical regions - mountains, plains, desert, rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef... the list goes on and on. Eventually I will be covering each of these, and try to find interesting and unusual facts about each. I hope you'll enjoy this as much as I am... thanks!