Great Victoria Desert

Great Victoria Desert

The Great Victoria Desert is a barren, arid, and sparsely populated desert ecoregion in southern Australia. It falls inside the states of South Australia and Western Australia and consists of many small sandhills, grasslands and salt lakes. It is over 700 kilometres (435 miles) wide (from west to east) and covers an area of . The Western Australia Mallee shrub ecoregion lies to the west, the Little Sandy Desert to the northwest, the Gibson Desert and the Central Ranges xeric shrublands to the north, the Tirari and Sturt's Stony deserts to the east, and the Nullarbor Plain to the south separates it from the Southern Ocean.

Due to the aridity and dryness of the desert, almost no farming activity is carried out there, and it is a protected area of Western Australia.

Within South Australia, is Mamungari Conservation Park, one of the twelve World Biosphere Reserves in Australia and contains pristine arid zone wilderness and possesses cultural significance.

The average annual rainfall is low, ranging from 200 to 250 mm (8 to 10 in) per year. Thunderstorms are relatively common in the Great Victoria Desert, with an average of 15 - 20 thunderstorms per annum. Summer daytime temperatures range from 32 to 40 °C (90 to 104 °F). In winter, this falls to 18 to 23 °C (64 to 75 °F). Snow never falls in the Great Victoria Desert.

It is inhabited by many different groups of Indigenous Australians, including the Kogara and the Mirning.

In 1875, British explorer Ernest Giles became the first European to cross the desert. He named the desert after the then-reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria.

It is an Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) region.


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