Pelicans perched on rocks

Outback to Oceans Australia

Australia is home to some of the planet’s most wild natural environments.

The Outback, for example, is a region of stark contrasts, alternately lush and inhospitable, that supports people, jobs, and economies as well as a landscape rich in biodiversity, with some of the world’s most unusual plants and animals.

The oceans surrounding Australia are equally exceptional. The waters off the Kimberley coast provide a large and healthy haven for sharks, dolphins, turtles, whales, and dugong, a mammal closely related to the manatee. Around 90 percent of marine species found along the southwest coast live only in that area. The Coral Sea, which washes over the Great Barrier Reef, is one of the world’s last refuges for ocean giants such as tuna and billfish.

Pew works in Australia with Indigenous communities, scientists, conservation organizations, industry, and government agencies to conserve the country’s natural landscapes and marine habitats. These efforts include advocating for inclusion of new areas in the National Reserve System; funding conservation management activities; and creating sanctuaries for marine life to help ensure that Australian waters maintain a high level of biodiversity and can continue to support sustainable fisheries.

Additional resources


The Modern Outback

Quick View

The Outback is the vast heartland of Australia. It includes places of exquisite beauty and wildness. It is an area of extremes, alternately lush and bountiful, harsh and inhospitable. The people and land of the Outback embody much that is most distinctive and characteristic of Australia. Yet while the Outback is quintessentially Australian, it is also a place of international consequence.


My Country, Our Outback

Quick View

Only a small number of vast natural landscapes—wild regions where ecological processes and the movement of wildlife function normally—remain on Earth. The Australian Outback is one of them.

Our Work

Voices from the land on hope and change in Australia’s heartland