Where Australia collides with Asia – An animation of the amazing voyage of Continent Australia



Continent Australia started to break away from Gondwanaland and Antartica more than 100 million years ago and finally seperated 50 million years ago to make its journey north towards the equator. Continent Australia, which includes Papua-New Guinea slowly drifted north until 20 million years ago it crashed into the Pacific Plate which is moving westward.  This movement westward sliced off segments of Continent Australia and inserted them into the Indonesian archipelago, the continued northward movement (at around 7 cm per year) has thrust up the mountains of Papua-New Guinea and it is this continued movement which has caused the recent earthquakes there.

Sabin Zahirovic of the University of Sydney has produced a brilliant animation  showing the amazing voyage of Continent Australia over 150 million years. To view please follow the link below and it is recommended to watch in full screen mode.

Sabin Zahirovic animation


What is equally remarkable is that 50 years before Alfred Wegener’s theory of continental  drift and 100 years before the science of plate tectonics, the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace had already deduced in 1856, from his observations of the birds and animals of the eastern Indonesian archipelago, that Australia had collided with Asia.

Where Australia Collides with Asia - IHS poster 2

To read more about ‘Where Australia Collides with Asia’, Alfred Russel Wallace, the Wallace Line and the biogeographic region of Wallacea please follow the link below:




About ianburnet

Author of the book, Spice Islands. Which tells the History, Romance and Adventure of the spice trade from the Moluccas in Eastern Indonesia over a period of 2000 years. Author of the book, East Indies.Which tells the history of the struggle between the Portuguese Crown, the Dutch East India Company and the English East India Company for supremacy in the Eastern Seas. Author of the book 'Archipelago - A Journey Across Indonesia'. Author of the book 'Where Australia Collides with Asia' Author of the book 'The Tasman Map'. Author of the book 'Eastern Voyages'.
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2 Responses to Where Australia collides with Asia – An animation of the amazing voyage of Continent Australia

  1. Sia Arnason says:

    Ian: Nice animation of the drifting of the continents. It is still happening and one can only wonder how the world will look several million years from now — If it still exists, that is.

  2. ianburnet says:

    Who knows, one day we may be part of China!

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