Why Aren't There Any Volcanoes in Australia?

The land down under is known for many things – beautiful coastlines, surfing paradise, and punchy kangaroos to name just a few – but what the mainland is not known for are active volcanoes, which can also be categorized as dormant or extinct. Even though Australia is home to nearly 150 volcanoes, none of them has erupted for about 4,000 to 5,000 years!

The lack of volcanic activity is due to the island’s location in relation to a tectonic plate, the two layers of the Earth’s crust (or lithosphere). These plates move, float, and sometimes fracture; and, when they shift, they can cause natural occurrences like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and continental drift. Since the mainland of Australia is situated in the middle of the Indo-Australian Plate, it’s removed from any major geological faults.

However, Australia’s external territories, Heard Island and McDonalds Islands, are home to the  continent’s only active volcanos whose most recent eruption occurred just last year!

Have you ever made your own simulated volcanic explosion? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below!

Article written by Sarah Wyland

Sarah Wyland
Sarah never gets in trouble for being on Facebook and Instagram at work, because its her job. As social media manager, she gets to tell the stories of travelers, teachers, and interesting places. Other titles she enjoys include dog mom to Knox, barre instructor, Crossfit athlete, avid reader, and world traveler.