Oceans and Other Water Sources

Although much of Australia is desert outback, there are a few vital water sources. Many of the large cities were founded due to their proximity to ocean or river sources. This is a detailed map of major Australian rivers. Listed below are a few of the most important rivers and other bodies of water, along with their location.

Pacific Ocean: The ocean off Australia’s eastern coast. The Pacific Ocean is the largest, and oldest, ocean in the world. It also contains the deepest trenches north of Australia in the Philipines. A wide variety of fish and other marine life live in the Pacific Ocean.

Indian Ocean: The ocean off Australia’s western coast. The Indian Ocean is the third largest (and smallest) ocean. Approximately 40% of the world’s offshore oil production comes from the Indian Ocean. Fishing boats usually troll for shrimp and tuna.

Southern Ocean: The ocean off Australia’s southern coast. The Southern Ocean was “created” from the southern portions of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean in 2000. It is now the world’s fourth largest ocean. Krill accounts for almost 90% of all catch.




Brisbane River: Brisbane, Queensland straddles this river, which is home to at least 24 different types of fish. Travelers can take in the view from the water on the CityCat, a ferry which has 13 stops on the river. The annual Riverfestival celebrates the river with art, music and fun.

Port River: This river forms the northern boundary of Adelaide, South Australia. Dolphins and pelicans are often spotted by sightseers.

River Murray: South Australia’s major river, the longest in Australia. Drains approximately one-seventh of the country. This river is part of the ecologically fragile, yet very profitable, Murray-Darling Basin.

Murray-Darling Basin: This area sweeps across much of New South Wales and Victoria and includes parts of lower Queensland and SE South Australia. The Basin generates about 40 percent of the country’s agriculture and grazing income, and contains more than 20 major rivers.

Swan River: Perth, Western Australia sits 12 miles upstream, at a bend in this river. Perth Water is the section of the river the city overlooks, and is almost a mile wide.

Australia’s Longest Rivers:
Murray River, NSW/SA, 2520 km
Murrumbidgee River, NSW/ACT, 1575 km
Darling River (from the Murray River to Culgoa River), NSW, 1390 km
Lachlan River, NSW, 1370 km