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UPSC IAS Prelims 2021: Important Questions on World Geography - Topic 6 (Australia)

Sakshi Saroha

Australia is the world’s largest island and smallest continent. It is the only nation that completely covers a continent. Its total area is nearly double that of India and Pakistan combined. It lies entirely in the Southern Hemisphere and is aptly named – Austral meaning south. It is located between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, stretches west to east from 114°E longitude to 154°E longitude and from 10°S to 40°S latitude. 

The Tropic of Capricorn cuts the continent almost in half. Asia is the continent nearest to Australia. The nearest point on the mainland of Asia is Singapore To the west of Australia, the Indian Ocean, to the south, the icy shore of Antarctica to the south-east is New Zealand. To the northwest is the continent of Asia.

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Ques 1: Consider the following statements:

  1. Mt. Cook is the highest peak of Australia
  2. Downs grassland in Australia is called as 'Parkland of Australia'

Which of the given statement is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: b


Mt Cook is the highest peak of New Zealand. It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island.

Mt. Kosciusko is the highest peak in Australia. Mt. Townsend ranks as second. 

Ques 2: Which of the following imaginary line passes through the middle of the continent?

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(a) Tropic of Capricorn

(b) Tropic of Cancer

(c) Zero Degree Channel

(d) Equator

Ans: a


The Tropic of Capricorn is the 23.5S and hence it passes through the center of Australia.

The Tropic of Capricorn passes through a number of countries including Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, and Paraguay. If you consider its starting place to be the Prime Meridian, it first makes landfall on the coast of Namibia.

Ques 3: Which of the following water bodies does not surround Australian Continent?

(a) Indian Ocean

(b) Timor Sea

(c) Tasman Sea

(d) Atlantic Ocean

Ans: d


Australia is surrounded by

The Timor Sea in the North-West

The Gulf of Carpentaria in the North,

Great barrier reef in the north-east &

Great Australian bight in the south

To the southeast of the mainland lies the island of Tasmania

Ques 4: Consider the following statements regarding The Great Barrier Reef:

  1. It lies along the east coast of Victoria, Australia, in the Pacific Ocean.
  2. This is the largest coral reef in the world.

Which of the given statements is/are not correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: a


This is the largest coral reef in the world.

It lies along the east coast of Queensland, Australia, in the Pacific Ocean.

It is about 2,000 kilometers long, in some places, it is as close as 16 kilometers to the coast while in other places it is 200 kilometers away.

It is one of the natural wonders of the world.

It is formed by the tiny coral polyps.

Ques 5: The term “Oceania” often seen in news is related to: 

(a) A sum of all the ocean water together

(b) Indian and Pacific Ocean together

(c) islands situated surrounding Australia

(d) Australia and New Zealand together

Ans: c


The islands situated surrounding the younger most continent in size are collectively known as Oceania. Broadly it has been divided into three major island groups Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

Ques 6: Which of the following river runs through the city of Perth?

(a) Darling 

(b) Lachlan

(c) Swan

(d) Murray

Ans: c


The Swan River is a river in the south west of Western Australia. Its Noongar Aboriginal name is the Derbarl Yerrigan. The river runs through the metropolitan area of Perth, Western Australia's capital and largest city. 

Ques 7: Who among the following discovered Australia for the first time in 1770?

(a) James Cook

(b) Matthew Flinders

(c) Stephen Hawkins

(d) Vasco de Gama

Ans: a


Australia was discovered for the first time in 1770, by James Cooke. He landed near the Sydney harbour.

Ques 8: The name Australia is derived from the Latin word “Australis” which means ______.

(a) "northern"

(b) "western"

(c) “southern”

(d) "Reverina"

Ans: c


The name Australia is derived from the Latin word “Australis” which means “southern”. The names date back to a 2nd-century legend of “terra Australis incognita” (the unknown southern land). When the explorer Matthew Flinders first encountered the country, he named it Terra Australis. This was later abbreviated into Australia. 

Ques 9: Which of the following countries is not a part of Melanesia region in the pacific ocean? 

(a) Vanuatu

(b) Fiji

(c) Kiribati

(d) Solomon Islands

Ans: c


Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from the island of New Guinea in the west to Tonga in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea. The region includes the four independent countries of Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea.

Ques 10:  Which of the following statements is true regarding mineral wealth of Australia

  1. Australia has the world’s largest known uranium reserve
  2. 10% of gold reserve of world is here

Select the correct code:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: c


Australia has the world’s largest known uranium reserve. 10% of gold reserve of world is here. Argyle diamond mine is one of the largest in the world. It has valuable pink and red diamonds.

Also Check: Topic-wise Important Questions & Answers on World Geography

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