The Great Dividing Range

Australia's Great Dividing Range is not just one mountain. It is a series of mountains, plateaus (raised land that is flat on top), steep cliffs known as escarpments, valleys, and other upland and lowland areas.

The Range is approximately 3 500 kilometres long. It was formed about 3 000 years ago.

The Great Dividing Range blocks rainfall and moisture from the Pacific Ocean from reaching inland Australia, causing it to be mostly scrub lands and deserts.

View towards the summit of Mount Kosciusko © iStock

View towards the summit of Mount Kosciusko © iStock

Tourists on the summit of Mount Kosciuszko. ©iStock

Tourists on the summit of Mount Kosciuszko. ©iStock

Mount Kosciuszko is the highest mountain in the Snowy Mountains Range, and the highest peak in Australia. It is about 3 500 metres tall. It was discovered in 1840 by explorer Paul Strzelecki. He named it after Tadeusz Kosciuszko

The Snowy Mountains have heavy snow falls in June and July and there are popular places for skiers. Many of the most popular ski towns were built while the Snowy Mountains Scheme was being built.

A dam was built on the Snowy River in 1949 by thousands of men, and the water captured in the dam is used for water for towns as well as for irrigation and hydroelectricity. Underground tunnels connect sixteen dams, seven power stations and a pumping station in what is known as the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

Watch a video about the history of the Snowy Mountains Scheme

The Blue Mountains in New South Wales are a part of the Great Dividing Range.

Many of Australia's major rivers flow through the Great Dividing Range. The rivers provide water for the eastern coastal areas of Australia and to the drier parts of the country on the western side of the Range.

Watch a video about the Great Dividing Range