Australia is a vast island continent. It is geologically relatively stable and does not have high mountain ranges. The narrow coastal strip to the east of the country is bounded by the Great Dividing Range, once a mighty mountain range but now hugely eroded. West of the range lies the dry inland heart of the country, where the rainfall is slight, the vegetation is sparse and the lakes are usually dry. In the south west, there is a fertile coastal plain, while further north along the west coast, the dry country runs right down to the sea. In the north of the country lies the Top End, a monsoonal area which has a wet season with high rainfall and a dry season with virtually no rainfall.
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