The region includes the spectacular red gorges of the Hamersley Range in Karijini National Park.
Mount Meharry, Western Australia’s highest point at 4,111 feet (1,253 metres) above sea level, is located nearby, about 175 miles (280 km) from the central coast.
A portion of the previously productive soils can no longer support crops, owing to excessive concentrations of soluble salts, mostly sodium chloride, which have accumulated in the soils since clearing.
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Western Australia’s primary agricultural region lies in the wetter southwestern part of the Yilgarn plateau.
The region has deeply weathered (up to about 165 feet [50 metres]), kaolinized, gravelly and sandy soils, from which most nutrients have long been leached.
Most of the state is subarid, and the combination of low rainfall and high temperatures restricts most of the population and agricultural activities to the so-called comfortable zone southwest of an imaginary line stretching from north of Geraldton on the state’s western coast to Esperance on its southern coast.
The overwhelming majority of the population lives in the greater Perth area, which is one of the largest metropolitan regions in Australia. Kimberley region in the far north is a multisectioned plateau.
On the coast proper, limestone ranges and gorges make up the arid Cape Range on the peninsula to the west of Exmouth Gulf.
Yilgarn block, a stable granite-gneiss shield area, or craton, similar in many respects to the Canadian Shield.
In the extreme south, the block rises to an elevation of 3,596 feet (1,096 metres) in the Stirling Range and then drops abruptly into the ocean, resulting in a rugged granite coastline with clean, white sandy bays. Ord are the two principal rivers of Western Australia.
Both drain the state’s northernmost sector, the Kimberley plateau.
Among the most isolated of the world’s administrative centres, Perth is closer in distance and time zone to Jakarta and Singapore than to Sydney. The coastline is rugged and dangerous, with strong currents and a tidal range that may reach 39 feet (12 metres), while the rolling inland areas are sparsely wooded and scattered with bristly grasses.
The limestone King Leopold Ranges rise from the southern part of the region.
The Kimberley plateau consists mostly of red and yellow soils, including deep sands, and loamy and sandy earths; cracking clays and stony soils are evident in some areas.