What Continent Has the Most Deserts?

Australia's Great Victoria Desert supports a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Australia's Great Victoria Desert supports a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Out of the 7 continents in the world and with regard to land mass, Australia is the smallest. It has a population of approximately 23 million people, which makes it the second least populated continent. It is geographically bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean to the east and west respectively. The continent has an immensely diverse climatic composition encompassing a tropical, desert, grassland and equatorial climates. The desert climate is paramount, with two thirds of the continent considered arid. This makes it the second driest continent after Antarctica. Australia has ten deserts, which geographically have overlaps and adjoining segments. This makes it the continent with the largest number of deserts. The ten deserts found in the Australian continent are; Great Sandy, Tanami Desert, Great Victoria, Simpson Desert, Strzelecki Desert, Gibson Desert, Little Sandy Desert, Tirari Desert and Pedirka Desert and Sturt Stony Desert.

Largest Deserts in Australia

Great Victoria Desert

The Great Victoria Desert, ranging 348,750 sq km, is the largest in the continent. The desert is found in the southwestern region of Australia. After the Arabian Desrt and Sahara Desert, it is the third largest subequatorial desert in the world. It is bordered by four other deserts: Simpson Desert and Sturt Stony Desert to the east, Little Sandy Desert to the northwest, and Gibson Desert to the north. It supports variety of fauna and flora, and is a major tourists’ location in Australia.

Great Sandy Desert

The second largest, the Great Sandy Desert, is 267,250 sq km in size. It is the home of the 1,150 feet Uluru-Ayers Rock which is a known world heritage site. It also contains rare plant species like the Desert Bloodwood plant. It is situated in Western Australia, the northern side.

Tanami Desert

The Tanami Desert is the third largest desert in Australia at 184,500 sq km. It has vast natural resources which makes it vital for the mining industry in Australia. It is also known for the Tanami track. It is found in the central region of Australia and is bordered by the Great Sandy Desert to the east.

Desert Coverage in Australia

Australia does not have the largest coverage by land mass, but it has the largest coverage by deserts when compared with the total surface area of the continent. Australia is considered to be a desert. That fact coupled with the actual number of deserts present in Australia makes it the continent with the most deserts.


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