Regions of Australia

Most of Australia is flat. The highest part of the country lies in the east. Australia can be divided into three big regions:

  • The Great Dividing Range or Eastern Highlands
  • The Central Lowlands
  • The Western Plateau

The Eastern Highlands are the highest parts of the continent. This region is also called the Great Dividing Range because the rivers that flow down the eastern slopes end in the ocean and the rivers that run down the western slopes flow into the Central Lowlands and dry up there.

The Blue Mountains in eastern Australia

The highest peaks can be found in the Australian Alps—in the southern part of the Great Dividing Range. They are covered with snow in winter and many Europeans go there to ski during the summer months.

The Central Lowlands consist of very flat plains . Rivers flow through this area after it rains a lot but during the rest of the year the river beds are mostly dry. In the southern part of the lowlands the grass gets high enough for farmers to raise cattle and sheep. Wheat is often grown here. In the northern part of the lowlands it gets drier and it is usually too hot and dry to grow crops . The region is not very populated and only has a few small towns.

Cattle farming in the Central Lowlands
Image: Cgoodwin

The Western Plateau covers about two thirds of Australia. It is higher than the Central Lowlands. Most of it is made up of large deserts. Rain only falls in the north-eastern and south-western parts. Along the southern coast the Nullarbor Plain is about 700 km long. The name comes from the Latin words “nulla” and “arbor” which mean “no tree”.

Pilbara region of Western Australia
Image: Brian Voon Yee Yap