Australian Nature

Australian nature is variable and beautiful.

Australia is a continent with fantastic nature.

It has some great rock formations, beautiful red soils, and unique plants and animals living in a wide range of different climatic regions from snowy mountains to dry deserts and tropical rainforests. But let's have a closer look at what's behind all this beautiful nature.

Geography of Australia

Australia is the smallest continent in the world, but big enough for a huge country! We have heaps of room to move around here, and climate is not a problem since we have all the variations of it. If you like the hot climate you can move to northern Australia, and if you like the cooler degrees there are even snowy areas in the south. Have a look at the maps and more information on the page about Australian geography.

Road Sign for Eyre and Stuart Hghways, Australia
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Australian Geology

Things that add a lot to the beauty of Australian nature are our bright red soils and some of the world's most amazing rock formations (we also have the amazing stromatolites!). Australia has belonged to the supercontinent Gondwana for 90% of the time since the Cambrian Explosion, and during all that time it was geologically very active.

Since it broke off from the Gondwana continent as late as around the time of the extinction of dinosaurs, it has been geologically very inactive. But 65 million years has still been a long enough time for erosion to uncover Uluru and other really old rock formations, while on a more active continent mountain building would have interrupted the process by messing the things up. Read more on the page about Australian geology.

Uluru (Ayers Rock) with Desert Vegetation
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Australian Plants

Our plants are as variable as our climatic regions, and vegetation varies between tropical rainforests, temperate forests, open woodlands, scrublands, grasslands, deserts and snowy mountains. But Australia is not always a great place for plants to live. The beautiful red soils we have, are in fact very infertile, quite useless for plants compared to black soils. The geological inactivity means there is no formation of new fertile soils, instead the old soil is leached and blown away, leaving plants with little chance to fasten their roots. The climate doesn’t help the situation - depending on the stage of El Niňo – La Niňa cycle, Australia is either suffering from floods or droughts. These harsh conditions have forced the evolution to develop some clever adaptations to survive (just read about plant pollination as well). Read more on the page about Australian plants

Gum Trees in a Billabong at the South West Escarpment of Wilpena Pound, South Australia, Australia
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Animals of Australia

And when it comes to animals, Australian nature won't disappoint you! The long isolation from other continents means our animals are unique and always of big interest for international travellers. Like with plants, our animals have adapted to a range of different climatic conditions from dry deserts and cold Alpine areas to hot and wet tropical and temperate rainforests. Tropical rainforests are some of the species-richest ecosystems on the Earth, with a complex food chain, ecology and and some endangered animals. Read more on the page about the modern Australian animals and the ancient megafauna (including Tasmanian tigers).

Eastern Grey Kangaroo on Beach, Murramarang National Park, New South Wales, Australia
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