Australia is an isolated country completely surrounded on all sides by sea. Oceans that surround Australia include the South Pacific, Indian, and Great Southern Ocean. Seas include the Timor, Arafura, Coral, and Tasman seas. The Bass Strait separates the island state of Tasmania from the main continent. Australia is renown for its beaches. With a huge 25,760 km of coastline containing 11,011 significant beaches, that is more beaches than any other nation. Read more →
The coastline also varies and extends from the tropics in the north to sub Antarctic Islands in the south. Eighty percent of Australians live in a coastal strip that extends from Cairns down to Adelaide and inland for only 50 kilometres.
Highlights of the Australian coastline are too numerous to list, but significant features include the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, and The Twelve Apostles.
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef on Earth extending for over 2000 km. This is about the same size of the USA's eastern coastline. The Barrier Reef is a World Heritage Area as well as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. The reef encompasses nearly 1000 pristine tropical islands.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and another World Heritage site. The island runs close to the Queensland coast and is 144km long. It has sandhills that rise nearly 240m in places and there are over 100 freshwater lakes. Some of these lakes are among the cleanest in the world and are surrounded by sub-tropical rainforest.
The Twelve Apostles, are unusual rock formations which rise out of the ocean and stand up to 100m above sea level. They are located along Victoria's southern coastline in Port Campbell National Park.
Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia has a pristine coral reef though not nearly as big as the Great Barrier Reef. Nevertheless, it rivals it for coral quality and unusual fish species. It is the location for the enormous whale shark.
Australia (total) 36,735km Western Australia 12,500km Queensland 7,400km Northern Territory 6,200km South Australia 3,700km Tasmania 3,200km New South Wales 1,900km Victoria 1,800km ACT (inc Jervis Bay) 35km