CountryAustraliaStatesAustralian resources Territory, brand-new South Wales, Queensland, VictoriaHighest pointMount Kosciuszko - elevation2,228 meters (7,310 feet) - coordinates36°27′00″S 148°16′0″E / -36.45, 148.26667Length3,500 km (2,175 miles), North-South

The Great splitting Range, also known as the Eastern Highlands, is Australia"s most comprehensive mountain range, stretching much more than 3,500 kilometers (2,175 miles), around parallel to the continent"s east and southeast coasts. Native the northeastern pointer of Queensland, the range runs through new South Wales right into Victoria then transforms westward before dropping right into the main plain of the Grampians in western Victoria.

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The highest areas of the Australian continent are discovered in the great Dividing Range, which divides the east shore from the remainder the the less contoured and much more barren inland areas. There is a wide variety of vegetation transparent its length. Rainforests provide home and also shelter come a diversity the wildlife. Steep, wooded canyons fall listed below an elevated sandstone plateau. The snowfields that the Australian Alps complete the tableau.


The variety was taken into consideration a formidable obstacle to from the west migration of European settlers until 1813 when a perfect route was uncovered by the pioneering party that Gregory Blaxland. Following this the development of the agricultural districts of inland brand-new South Wales began. Today new South Wales is an area that rich resources for agriculture, logging, and also mining. Australia"s major rivers run with the Range. The river system provides water for irrigation for drier soil on the range"s western slope, and power for hydroelectric power plants. Its good variety of mountain ranges, nationwide parks and also skiing areas carry out a major tourist industry. The good Dividing range continues to play crucial role in the breakthrough of the Australian nation.

Geography

Terminology


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Domestic goats high up in the hills of the Great splitting Range, in east Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.
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Looking throughout everlastings on Mt. Hotham come Mt. Feathertop; during winter these hills are blanketed in snow.
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Some of the most spectacular waterfalls in Australia, such as Dangar drops at Dorrigo, new South Wales are situated along the Great splitting Range.
A number of scenic railways, such together this one in ~ Katoomba, rise various shorter routes follow me the range.

The an excellent Dividing selection does no consist that a single mountain range, yet of a complicated of hill ranges, plateaus, upland areas and also escarpments with an ancient and facility geological history. The physiographic department name because that the landmass is called the eastern Australian Cordillera.

The comb of the range is characterized by the watershed or boundary in between the drainage containers of rivers i beg your pardon drain straight eastward right into the Pacific Ocean, and those rivers which drain into the Murray-Darling River device toward the west. In the north, the rivers ~ above the west side of the variety drain towards the Gulf that Carpentaria.

It should be listed that the greater and an ext rugged components of the "range" do not necessarily form part the the crest of the range, however may it is in branches and offshoots from it. The ax "Great splitting Range" might refer especially to the watershed stakes of the range, or to the whole upland facility including every one of the hills and also mountains in between the east coast of Australia and also the central plains and lowlands. Significant ranges and other attributes which type part of the range complex have their very own distinctive names.

Notable components

Parts the the highlands consisting of fairly flat and, by Australian standards, fairly well-watered floor were developed for farming and pastoral uses. Such areas include the Atherton Tableland and Darling Downs in Queensland, and also the north Tablelands, southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands in new South Wales. Various other parts of the highlands are too rough for agriculture and have been supplied for forestry. Countless parts that the highlands which were not emerged are now included in a range of national Parks.

All the mainland Australia"s alpine areas, consisting of its highest possible mountain, mountain Kosciuszko in ~ 2,228 meters (7,310 ft), are component of this range. The highest locations in southern brand-new South Wales and eastern Victoria are known as the Australian Alps.The main core the the an excellent Dividing selection is dotted with hundreds of peaks and is surrounded by numerous smaller mountain ranges or spurs, canyons, gorges, valleys and also plains of regional significance. Few of the major plains encompass the High plains of South-Eastern Australia, the southerly Highlands the main highlands and Bogong High levels of Victoria. Other tablelands considered part of the an excellent Dividing range are the Atherton Tableland, north Tablelands, Canberra wine region and the southern Tablelands.

The Bunya Mountains, Blue Mountains, Liverpool Range, McPherson Ranges and the Moonbi range are few of the smaller sized spurs and also ranges that make up the greater separating range. Other noteworthy ranges and tablelands which kind part that the great Dividing range include the new England Tableland, Liverpool Range, mountain Royal variety and the Monaro District. While few of the peaks the the highlands with respectable heights that a little over 2,000 meters (6,560 ft), the age of the range and that erosion typical that most of the mountains are not really steep, and virtually every peaks have the right to be got to without mountaineering equipment.

In some areas, such together the Snowy Mountains, victor Alps, the Scenic Rim and the east escarpments that the new England region, the highlands kind a far-reaching barrier. In other areas the slopes are gentle and also in places the range is proper perceptible.

Well recognized passes ~ above the variety include Cox"s Gap, Cunningham"s Gap, Dead equine Gap and Spicer"s Gap.

Notable towns located on the upland locations of the range include Atherton, Toowoomba, Armidale, Oberon, Goulburn, Canberra and Omeo. Countless other towns and cities are situated in lowland areas and also foothills surrounding to the highlands.

Water catchments

The reduced reaches are supplied for forestry, an task that reasons much friction with conservationists. The range is likewise the source of virtually every one of eastern Australia"s water supply, both through runoff captured in dams, and, throughout lot of Queensland, with the good Artesian Basin.

Valleys follow me the chain of mountains have yielded a water resource for important reservoirs and also water supply jobs such as the upper Nepean Scheme, Snowy mountains Scheme and Warragamba Dam. The Bradfield Scheme has been mooted as a way to transport water indigenous the tropics in seaside Queensland southern to dryer regions.

The great Dividing selection creates the drainage basins of the Australian south-east shore drainage division and the Australian north-east shore drainage division, whose water flows to the eastern coast and into the Pacific Ocean, Tasman Sea, and Bass Strait through the westerly Murray-Darling basin which flow inland, far from the shore into the internal plains.

Some of the rivers which flow west the the ranges consists of the Condamine River, Flinders River, Hastings flow Herbert River, Lachlan River, macdonald River, Macintyre River and Namoi River. Rivers the flow eastern into the Pacific Ocean include the Burdekin River, Brisbane River, Richmond River, Hawkesbury River, Snowy River, Shoalhaven River and also the mary River.

History

The arrays were originally residence to Australian aboriginal tribes. Proof of habitation at least 14,000 years earlier remains. Transparent the Blue mountains area, traces of aboriginal camp sites, axe grind grooves, rock engravings, other art website and stone tools have actually been found. This relics have been preserved and also are under protection.

After European settlement in 1788, the ranges were an obstacle to exploration and also settlement by the brothers settlers. Although no high, parts of the highlands were an extremely rugged.

In 1813, a usable path was finally discovered directly westward native Sydney throughout the Blue mountains to Bathurst by the party that Gregory Blaxland. This to be the start of the development of the farming districts that inland brand-new South Wales. Simpler routes to inland new South Wales were discovered toward Goulburn to the southwest, and westward indigenous Newcastle.

Subsequent explorations to be made across and roughly the ranges by Allan Cunningham, man Oxley, Hamilton Hume, Ludwig Leichhardt and also Thomas Mitchell. These explorers were mainly came to with finding good agricultural land.

By the late 1830s the most productive rangelands surrounding to the mountains" ranges had actually been explored and also some had actually been settled. These included the Gippsland and also Riverina regions in the south, approximately the Liverpool Plains and also the Darling Downs in the north.

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Various road and railway paths were subsequently established through plenty of parts the the ranges, although many locations remain far to this day. For example, in east Victoria there is only one significant road cross the highlands from phibìc to south.