Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Great Victoria Desert - the largest Australian desert

It is about 424,400 km2 (163,900 miles2) in area. 700 km (435 miles) from west to east & if the largest estimate of its size is correct it is the 3rd largest desert in the world, but at the lowest estimate it would be the 8th largest.

Its size is 424,400 km2 (163,900 miles2) according to most sources (though I've seen anything between 348,750 km2/134,655 miles2 and 250,000 miles2). The western part is in Western Australia and the eastern part is in South Australia.


The Great Victoria Desert receives only little rain, though not as little as one might suspect for a desert. The rainfall range is 200 - 250 mm a year, but the rain is unreliable. Southern parts receive some winter rainfall, further north the only water source are thunderstorms. And they are isolated and unpredictable


It is not a desert of dunes, it has some desert-adapted vegetation, eg., marble gums, mulga and spinifex grass, as well as a large variety of arid-land adapted shrubs and smaller plants. When it rains the desert blooms almost overnight, with large areas of wildflowers, flowering grevilleas and acacias, yellows, whites and mauves against the red sands.


Mary E White, Running Down, Water in a Changing Land, Kangaroo Press, 2000


Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated: 30/09/2011
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