Australian Landscapes EarthQuest


Australia is an ancient and stable land mass. Some of the oldest rocks in the world have been identified in Australia (in the Pilbara region of Western Australia). While there are no active volcanoes in Australia, there are many unique landforms. Think of a unique Australian landform and you will probably think of Uluru (formerly known as Ayres Rock) but there are many other interesting landscapes: dormant and extinct volcanoes, the longest lava tubes in the world, limestone caves, comet and meteorite craters.

In this EarthQuest, you will visit many of these unique landforms and find out more about them.



1. Follow the placemarks of these Australian landforms. Click on each landform icon on the GoogleEarth world map or that are Linked from this page. Zoom in on the Earth near the placemark, move around the area and explore the landform from all angles. Tilt the map, so you can see what the landform look like from the ground.

On a map of Australia, indicate the location of the landforms. For each landform you need to find out:
  1. the name or names by which the landform is known
  2. where the landform is located, in what state or territory does it occur, name a nearby city or town;
  3. a description of the landform;
  4. how and when was it formed;
  5. what has happened to the area since it was formed;
  6. what rock types are found in the area; and
  7. something interesting about the landform.
(Here you can download a matrix for the answers)

2. Select one of the landforms that you found particularly interesting and prepare a brochure or electronic presentation that could be used to advertise the landform and its surrounding area to potential tourists.

Download the Placemarker Planning Sheet

3. Share you brochure or presentation with your teacher and your classmates.

Some general resources on Australian Landforms
Fab Facts: Landforms - from Geoscience Australia, find out the longest river, the biggest monolith, the largest islands and more
Australian Landforms and their History - from Geoscience Australia
Australian Landforms - from Australian Museum
Hotlisting Australian Landforms - from Professional Teachers Council NSW
Australian Heritage Places Inventory - searchable database from Australian Heritage Direcctory
Geomorphology from Space - from NASA

Some general resources on using GoogleEarth
How to use Google Earth (general overview)
Using places

Download the GoogleEarth file (preferred option)

Access sites through Browser page if access is not available to GoogleEarth


This lesson was developed as educational material using Google Earth. This kind of WebQuest is called an EarthQuest and was devised by John Demmers, Netherlands.

In this EarthQuest the students will explore the landforms of Australia in GoogleEarth. They will also explore characteristics how these landforms where formed and the types of rocks. They will then prepare a brochure or electronic presentation to advertise the landform to tourists.

Exploring these places the students learn to use the program Google Earth.

To complete this activity, students should be supplied with a matrix for the answers and a blank map of the Australia.


This EarthQuest is made by:
Kaye Placing


Based on the EarthQuest World Wonders developed by:
John Demmers