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The continent of Australia, extending from the Indian Ocean in the west to the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean in the east, consists of four topographic regions.  The western plateau rises to 1,000 or 2,000 feet and embraces great desert and rocky wasteland areas.  The central plains region features a large underground drainage system including the Great Artesian Basin.  The eastern highlands range up to 7,000 feet in altitude, and extend from Cape York in the north to Tasmania in the south.  The fertile, eastern coastal plain extends along the east coast, and is Australia's most populous region.

Some geographers consider Australia to be part of Oceania, a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean.  In addition to Australia, Oceania includes New Zealand, New Guinea, and some 25,000 other islands situated north and east of Australia.  In this context, Australia is viewed as the continental land mass of the Oceania region.  Visit Wikipedia's Oceania page for more information on this hotly debated topic.

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