Alasdair McGregor, with a foreword by Greg Mortimer

Australia’s mountains may not stand as tall as mightier peaks stretched across other continents, but it is worth posing the question: does size, as in height, really matter?  

The mountains of Australia can be measured by the yardstick of time rather than height—the great sagas of the earth from its earliest days are inscribed for those who care to look closely. On the top of Mount Everest you can touch the edge of outer space but in the Australian mountains you can feel the beginning of time.  

True to the diversity of the Australian continent, our mountains are home to natural habitats of both exquisite beauty and astonishing variety as well as, sadly, rapidly increasing rarity. Our First Nations People have an enduring spiritual connection to many of these sites, and they have been a rich source of inspiration for many painters, poets, photographers and writers. 

Alasdair McGregor traces the rise and fall of the Australian continent, from mountains of ice and fire to those of iron and those with their heads in the clouds. An expansive contemplation of natural, geological and social history, McGregor’s account defies Australia’s reputation as the flattest continent on earth, illuminating the landscape in all its breathtaking height and glory. 

About the author 

Alasdair McGregor is a writer, painter and lecturer based in Sydney. His books include Grand Obsessions: The Life and Work of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin (winner of the 2011 National Biography Award); A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway; and Frank Hurley: A Photographer’s Life