Apart from Antarctica, Australia is the driest continent in the world. About 35 per cent of the continent receives so little rain, it is effectively desert. In total, 70 per cent of the mainland receives less than 500 millimetres of rain annually, which classes it as arid, or semi-arid.
Australia's deserts, listed below, are distributed throughout the western plateau and interior lowlands. The total desert area equates to 18 per cent of the total mainland area of Australia.