The Bass Strait separates Tasmania from Australia, overlying a shallow shelf around 160 ft (50 m) deep. Strong winds and currents from the Southern Ocean combine with the shallow depth to make its waters notoriously rough. Hundreds of ships were wrecked on its shores during the 19th century, before the erection of lighthouses made navigation safer. Natural gas fields were discovered beneath the eastern Bass Strait in the 1960s and 1990s.
- Length 250 miles (400 km)
- Minimum Width 62 miles (100 km)