the

Great Victoria Desert

the great Victoria Desert is the largest

desert in Australia and the eighth

largest in the world it's a barren arid

and sparsely populated region that falls

inside the states of South Australia and

Western Australia it stretches over 435

miles from east to west and covers an

area of 160 3,900 square miles it

consists of many small sand hills

grasslands and salt lakes and it can

take several days to cross the great

Victoria is surrounded by other deserts

the Gibson lies to the north the little

sandy desert to the northwest the

Nullarbor plain to the south and the

terraria and Sturt deserts to the east

this abundance of deserts is the reason

that Australia is regarded as a dry

country once you leave the coastlines

there are several national parks and

reserves in the area including the great

Victoria Desert nature reserve and the

Nullarbor National Park the desert was

named in 1875 by British explorer Ernest

Giles who was the first European to

cross it he named it to honor Queen

Victoria who was the reigning British

monarch at the time due to the arid

climate of the Great Victoria Desert

almost no farming activity is carried

out there and it is a protected area the

average annual rainfall for the region

ranges from eight to ten inches a year

southern parts received some winter

rainfall but further north the only

water source is thunderstorms and

they're isolated and unpredictable

summer daytime temperatures range from

90 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit dropping to

64 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in winter

surprisingly winter nights can be

freezing cold and Frost's are common the

word desert conjures up images of

endless sand dunes or barren rocky

plains without vegetation but the great

Victoria looks nothing like that it's

called a desert because it has little

rain not because it's dead or boring the

amount of vegetation is

prising Australia has always been a dry

continent and plants are well adapted to

living with little water several

different species of trees thrive there

along with a huge variety of shrubs and

smaller plants when it does rain the

great Victoria is transformed the desert

appears to burst into bloom over night

fields of colourful wild flowers appear

making a startling contrast to the

deserts red sands but even without rain

the great Victoria is an impressive

sight thanks to its rocks and ranges

caves and gorges Bluffs and breakaways

and an abundance of wildlife and

although the area is dry and rugged it's

inhabited by groups of Australian

Aboriginals including the Kagura and

Learning people