From On High

An Australian Point of View #5 Mountains

One of my most vivid memories of my first year of high school is the day my geography teacher, a European immigrant, made a scathing comment about Australia’s mountains. How dare we call our main mountain range “great” when, in comparison to the European alps it was nothing. I remember, even at the tender age of 12, feeling indignant that he should feel free to criticise my country.

Since then, I’ve seen much of this land and explored many of its mountain areas. I know now that Australia, once part of the supercontinent Gondwana, is the oldest and flattest continent on Earth.

Norseman, Western Australia

Nullarbor Plain, South Australia

Tectonic movement and volcanic activity have shaped the upland areas and erosion by wind and water has worn them away; instead of the rugged craggy peaks seen in Europe and the Americas, Australia’s mountain ranges are characterised by highland plateaus and deep canyons, wide valleys and rounded peaks.

Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake, Tasmania

Mount Wellington, Tasmania

Porongurups, Western Australia

Bungle Bungles, Western Australia

Katherine River and Katherine Gorge, Northern Territory

Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, reaches an elevation of just 2,228 metres above sea level.

Mount Kosciuszko, New South Wales

The Great Dividing Range, so maligned by my teacher, is the third longest land-based mountain range on Earth. It is 3,500 kilometres long and stretches from the northernmost tip of Queensland, through New South wales and into Victoria. At its widest it is more than 300 kilometres across. The range dates from the Carboniferous Period, making it more than 300 million years old. Surely the term “great” is well-deserved.

Where the mountains meet the sea, Cape Tribulation, Far North Queensland

Daintree National Park, Far North Queensland

Kroombit Tops, Central Queensland

Glasshouse Mountains, South East Queensland

Bald Rock National Park, Northern New South Wales

Alpine National Park, Eastern Victoria

Perhaps that teacher needed to study his geography!

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58 thoughts on “From On High

  1. I want to thank you again for showing us how beautiful your country is from all directions and angles. I wish I had traveled when I was younger so I could have seen it in person. But, your photographic tours are certainly appreciated and enjoyed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. It all looks pretty hilly to me ๐Ÿ™‚ A number of years back I took a visiting colleague from Denmark to admire the view of Christchurch and Lyttelton from the road along the top of the Cashmere Hill. He was exuberant in his excitement at being atop one of our ‘mountains’. It’s all relative ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. They might not be lofty, compared to those in other countries, but theyโ€™re every bit as beautiful, and walking in them is a strenuous and uplifting experience.

  4. I hope youngsters today are given better geography lessons. The geography lessons I got about Australia were very limited. About all I remember of them is Mount Kosciuszko and the Great Barrier Reef,

  5. And I also remember that New Zealanders in our multi national classroom took pleasure in telling the Australian students that Mt Cook was higher than Mt Kosciuszko. Height was the only thing that counted in those childish days!

  6. Loved this post and your photos – making me homesick!

    Like we’ve always said, unless you go out there and explore for yourself, then you have a tainted and somewhat narrow view of your own world. You can’t get a total experience out of a book, especially in Australia.

    Although a teacher and especially an immigrant, should know better.

  7. He certainly did need to study his geography. Your country is AMAZING, and so very beautiful . . .and there is so much about it that is unique and HUGE!!

  8. Teachers often use statistics to prove a point. Perhaps he hadn’t realised there is more to a mountain than its height. I love mountains. I love seeing them, I love driving through them, but I’m not hugely fond of climbing or hiking in them. I thought South Africa’s mountains were stunningly beautiful until I saw those in Canada. Scotland, Wales and Norway have stunning ranges. As does Switzerland. And Australia and New Zealand, though I haven’t seen the south island. Maybe it is because I come from the flat eastern side of England that I am so fond of them. We only have hills in Cornwall and I can just about cope with those. I do miss mountains though.

  9. Your photographs are absolutely beautiful and make me want to visit Australia!! What is the expression “vengeance is a dish best eaten cold”? Haha, if so, it took you a few years to zing back at your teacher, but well done for ultimately boomeranging back to his uppity European attitude. “Great” is in the eye of the local inhabitant.

    Ben

  10. Wow Carol, we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful country. It’s great to be reminded of the beauty of our nation, especially by these great photos. Cradle Mountain is my fav. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Wow, what a post. I loved the diversity of Your mountain collection. Photo showing Mount Kosciuszko, has some similarities than our Arctic fells. I copied this from Wikipedia than let Google translate it: “The oldest are the Saariselkรค fells, whose bedrock is about 1.9 billion years old granulite”.
    Here some photos from Pallastunturi Arctic fell (1.9 to 1.8 billion years old):
    North of the Arctic Circle 9
    Thank You for this post. Have a good day!

  12. There are certainly some amazing mountains in Australia, Carol. I love that photo of the Bungle Bungles – they remind me of Cappadocia in Turkey, but with more vegetation on them. The Kroombit Tops are beautiful, and the Glass House Mountains look similar to the karsts in China and Vietnam. So many varied and stunning landscapes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I never heave been to your country but you show us great mountains! ha!
    I just am back from road tripping though West-irland & Sooth-west Ireland & I am just in awe from the great amazing views & mountains that we just don’t see in tiny Belgium!

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