Tasmanian Northern Midlands has a dry subhumid cool inland lowland which lies in the Tamar graben - an extensive plain bordered in the east and west by hilly topography developed on Jurassic and Tertiary igneous rocks and Permian mudstone.
Soils of the Northern Midlands are diverse and predominantly sandy, supporting a long history of agriculture, with some forestry. The region’s extensive grazing lands are renowned for fine wool production, while the fertile river flats generate a range of high quality produce.
The region also supports a divers range vegetation communities including rare and threatened flora and fauna. Almost 700 plants species have been identified growing in the Northern Midlands, representing nearly 30% of Tasmanian flora. Extensive natural grassy plain were common along the valley river flats and formed the heart of the Midlands. Today less than 15% of these lowland grasslands remain in good condition. Some extensive remnants form an important pastoral resource, with over half of the sheep in Tasmania grazing native pastures. Native grasslands are among the richest vegetation types in Tasmania.
Quaternary sands and alluvium carry Eucalyptus viminalis, E. pauciflora and E. ovata open forest and woodland, while Tertiary deposits are vegetated by E. amygdalina open forest and woodland. Permian mudstone and Tertiary basalt line the major fault-controlled river valleys.
The Northern Midlands Municipality is located in one of Tasmania’s lowest rainfall regions making water a valuable and sometimes scarce natural resource. Surface water resources include lakes, wetlands, lagoons, streams and rivers. The boundaries of the Municipality include the Brumbys – Lake Catchment, Macquarie Catchment which both drain into the larger South Esk Basin. There are over 200 named creeks and rivers within the region, major Rivers of the South Esk include; Nile, Elizabeth, Lake, and St Pauls.
Some of the rarest species in the Midlands are found in association with wetlands. Over 600 wetland areas have been identified within the area. Wetlands act as a breeding ground for many species of fish, waterbirds, amphibians and insects and are an important stopover points for migratory birds. Wetlands also provide a natural filtering system improving water quality. Less than 30% of the Midlands wetlands now remain and they are a conservation priority. Twelve are listed in the Directory of the Important Wetlands in Australia and ten wetlands of regional significance have been identified.