Tasmania, formerly Van Diemen’s Land, island state of Australia lies about 150 miles (240 km) south of the state of Victoria, from which it is separated by the relatively shallow Bass Strait. Structurally, Tasmania constitutes a southern extension of the Great Dividing Range.
There are two major river systems in Tasmania—the Derwent in the southeast and the South Esk in the northeast. Many smaller systems, especially in the western region, flow to the west coast. The Central Plateau is studded with more than 4,000 lakes in a landscape similar to that of northern Canada and Finland; almost all, including Great Lake, are shallow. Lake St. Clair, the deepest lake in Australia (reaching more than 700 feet (215 metres), is a piedmont lake similar to the lakes of northern Italy. Several of the state’s lakes, notably Lake King William, are artificial reservoirs created as a part of hydroelectric power development.