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Cheap Australia Holidays: The Australian landscape can be divided into three main regions. Along the eastern coast are rocky mountain ranges. In the centre is a vast, low-lying plain. In the west of the continent are large areas of high, flat land, known as plateaus. 

Australia's lakes: Australia has very few large freshwater lakes. However, there are several saltwater lakes south of the Simpson Desert. The largest of these saltwater lakes is Lake Eyre, but it often dries out. During the last century, Lake Eyre filled up with water just three times.

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The central and western areas of Australia are extremely dry and

very few people live there. This vast, empty region is often known

as the outback or the bush.
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Mountains, hills, and rocks Australia's highest peaks are found in the Great Dividing Range - a long chain of mountains running along the length of the east coast. The Great Dividing Range includes several smaller ranges, such as the Snowy Mountains in South Australia. There are a number of hill ranges scattered over Australia. In the desert, the hills look much higher than they really are, because they rise up suddenly from the flat land. One of Australia's most spectacular sights is Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock). This giant rock is the world's largest single rock form (or monolith). It is as tall as an 80-floor building. Uluru rises 335 metres (1,110 ft) above the ground but this is only a third of its total height. The rest of the rock is underground.

Australian deserts In the centre and west of the continent are many large deserts. Most of these deserts are sandy. However, the Sturt Stony Desert in Central Australia is flat and rocky. Some Australian deserts have massive sand dunes stretching for up to 20 kilometres (12 miles).

Rivers of Australia Australia's longest permanently flowing river is the Murray River. Its source is the Great Dividing Range and it reaches the sea at the city of Adelaide. Running into the Murray is the Darling River. The land around the meeting place of these two rivers is known as the Murray-Darling basin. The soil in this basin is very good for farming. Underground water In central and western Australia, many rivers and streams dry up for several months each year. However, water is still stored deep in the rocks. In some areas, farmers use this underground water. They drill holes into the rock to pump up the salty water.

Lake Eyre in South Australia is the continent’s largest lake. Most of the time, Lake Eyre is a vast salt marsh, but it fills with water after heavy rains. The Great Barrier Reef Running along the northeast coast of Australia is a long shelf of coral under the sea. This coral shelf is known as the Great Barrier Reef. Corals are small, water creatures whose skeletons form a colourful, rocky structure. The Great Barrier Reef has built up very slowly over thousands of years. 

 

The weather in most of Australia is very hot and dry, and there is a constant danger of fire. However, there are some wetter areas, especially in the continent's northern tip. Central and western Australia often experience droughts, when there is no rain for months. In these dangerously dry conditions, bush fires often break out. A very dry centre About one third of Australia is hot, dry desert. In these desert areas, the total rainfall each year is usually less than 250 mm (10 inches). Every day there are long hours of very strong sunshine, and many rivers and streams dry up. At night, temperatures drop dramatically. The steamy north The north and northeast corners of Australia are close to the equator. This means that they have a tropical climate, with hot, steamy weather and very high rainfall. In the summer temperatures regularly reach 30C (86F). During the winter, the weather is still hot, but the air is drier.