is the sixth largest country in the world. Australia is in the
Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is 4,000 km. from the east to west
coast and 3,200 km. from north to south. The coastline is 36,735
km. all the way around. Over 75% of it is called 'the outback'.
landscape has been worn down over millions of years. Some of
the outback is part of the world's oldest land surface. A lot
of the outback is the Western Australian Shield. It is south
of the east coast of Arnhem Land, around the western part of
the Simpson Desert and on to Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
This shield is a huge plateau that is between 300 to 460 meters.
high. There are blocks that have formed lowlands and some have
built up and made uplands. Mt. Zeil in the West MacDonnells is
the highest point west of the Great Dividing Range. Scattered
in many places are mesas which have become eroded. The Australian
Shield's lowlands are the Nullarbor Plain in the south. It is
a flat, dry limestone area with many caves. There is also the
Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts in the lowlands. The Great Victoria
Desert is in the Central Shield area.
of the shield are the Flinder Ranges in South Australia. The
ranges are also known as the Central Lowlands. This is Australia's
the far north is Kimberly, Cape York, and the northern part of
the Northern Territory. Most of that area is not good for farming
and is in the outback. Although there are some good places for
farming. The Ord River Irrigation System near Kimberly and some
other areas near Katherine and Darwin are farmed.