West Coast (Environmental Region 4.2)
This region consists of eight environmental associations. It is comprised predominantly of undulating to hill plains on calcarenite with local rises and occasional steep-sided hills on quartzite on the west side of Eyre Peninsula. Dunes are restricted to the coastal fringe where they occur in association with lagoons and lakes. Shallow brownish sands with many calcarenite outcrops occur throughout the region, and support a woodland of dryland teatree (Melaleuca lanceolata) and drooping sheoak (Casuarina stricta) in the south, or mallee (E. socialis - E. gracilis and E. diversifolia) in the north. The undulating plains provide foreground and midlleground views, which are enclosed and detailed where mallee occurs. Occasional background panoramas, some with views to the ocean, can be obtained from hilly areas. Inselbergs, salt lakes and large bare coastal dunes are prominent local features which also have their own range of views. Inselbergs provide panoramas; slat lakes and lagoons, enclosed and detailed views; and coastal dunes, shoreline and ocean panoramas and enclosed foreground views from swales. Extensive low coastal cliffs provide panoramas along the shoreline and over the ocean where offshore islands are local features. The region has a mild climate with a winter rainfall maximum and dry summers with high evaporation. Mean annual rainfall varies from about 500 mm in the extreme south to about 350 mm in the north of the region, with most of the rainfall occurring between April and October. Temperatures range from mild in summer to cool to cold in winter. Mean monthly evaporation is high in summer and just exceeds median monthly rainfall during winter. Mean annual evaporation increases from about 1800 mm in the south to approximately 2200 mm in the north of the region.