|a plateau in NE Australia, in SE Queensland: a vast agricultural and stock-raising area|
pastoral and agricultural region in southeastern Queensland, Australia. It extends westward from the Great Dividing Range and southward to the Dumaresq and Macintyre rivers, generally occupying the basin of the Condamine River. The Darling Downs is a tableland that covers an area of about 5,500 square miles (14,200 square km) and has an elevation of 1,500-2,000 feet (450-600 m). A closely settled region with an adequate rainfall (average 25 inches [635 mm]) and fertile basaltic soils, it is a major wheat and dairy belt that also produces barley, oats, rye, corn (maize), sorghum, and millet. Sheep, poultry, pigs, and beef cattle are the principal livestock raised in the Downs. The Moonie oil field and natural gas fields are located there, and the region has large coal reserves. Toowoomba is the commercial centre. The Downs were explored in 1827 by Allan Cunningham and named for Sir Ralph Darling, governor of New South Wales.
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