Breathtaking

Awesome Australia: The View From Above (PHOTOS)

It's a given that Australia is one of the coolest continents, but a new crop of aerial photos shows the country in all of its beautiful, colorful, and stark glory.

David Gray/Reuters

David Gray/Reuters

Need we even tell you how beautiful Australia is? These aerial shots don't just confirm what we already know—they go above and beyond. The continent's natural wonders and dazzling, colorful landscapes are otherworldly. Here, a truck speeds through the bright-red landscape of the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

David Gray/Reuters

On the outskirts of Melbourne, two paddocks are divided by a road: one is dry and hosts a small dam, the other was recently scorched by a fire. Australia endured its hottest year on record in 2013, the Bureau of Meteorology said earlier this year, breaking the previous record set in 2005.

David Gray/Reuters

A beach snakes along the coastline of Arnhem Land, east of Darwin, in Northern Australia. Over half of the continent lies above the Tropic of Capricorn, but it is home to only five percent of the population. The frontier land hosts little infrastructure, and is populated by cattle barons, crocodile hunters and aboriginal tribes.

David Gray/Reuters

Burnt trees line a small creek in a paddock that was destroyed by a recent fire near Melbourne.

David Gray/Reuters

Roads snake in various directions across a landscape of sand dunes and vegetation in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The Pilbara region, which is the size of Spain, has the world's largest known deposits of iron ore and supplies nearly 45 percent of global trade in the mineral.

David Gray/Reuters

A small dam lends some green to the burnt landscape from a recent fire outside Melbourne.

David Gray/Reuters

Creeks and small rivers make up the Tanami Desert, located in Australia's Northern Territory. Geologists say the region, which is the size of South Africa, has abundant diamond, gold, and uranium reserves. However, a fifth the land is owned or controlled by aboriginal groups, many of whom have joined environmentalists to discourage mining.

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Tracks shoot out from a well across the bright red landscape of the Tanami Desert.

David Gray/Reuters

A truck kicks up dust on a dirt road in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

David Gray/Reuters

A dried-up river looks like a crack through the Pilbara region.

David Gray/Reuters

Like an artistic rendering of tree limbs, dry rivers snake through the multi-colored landscape.

David Gray/Reuters

Purple rows indicate mining operations at the Rio Tinto alumina refinery and bauxite mine in Gove, located east of Darwin in the Northern Territory. Australia's prime minister, Tony Abbott, has promised to develop the country's sparse and inhospitable north by 2030 to attract a new wave of mining investment and boost agricultural exports to Asia.

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A road sits next to vegetation-covered sand dunes.

David Gray/Reuters

A river flows through the red, green, and blue of sand dunes in the Tanami Desert.