Australia's mountains are not high by world standards, but they have influenced the spread of human settlement, and they affect the weather and the presence of water in the environment. From the ancient, weathered ranges in the deserts, to the Great Dividing Range and the extinct volcanoes, Australia's mountain landscapes are varied and beautiful. Many of the plants and animals are unique, such as the hibernating Mountain Pygmy Possum, whose habitat is under constant threat. Mountains are special places for the Australian Aboriginal people. Created by their ancestor and creation spirits, mountains have important connections with the Dreamtime stories that stretch back to the beginning of human civilisation in Australia.
Australia is an ancient country, with landscapes that range from snowy alps to red deserts. The plants and animals in Australia's landscapes include rare and unique species, some of which are descendants of the wildlife that flourished on Gondwana, the prehistoric continent that existed long before Australia separated and moved across the globe to its present location. Read about the sustainability issues that affect Australia's natural environments, and what is being done to preserve them for the future. Discover the geography and history of each of Australia's magnificent landscapes, and investigate their importance to the Indigenous Australians who have lived in them for thousands of years.