As a continent, Australia has a range of climates and microclimates that are conducive to growing many types of fruit. The warmer northern part of the country is more suitable to tropical fruit like bananas and oranges. However, varieties of apples grow in virtually all parts of Australia.
Bananas grow well in Australia. The banana industry in Australia began more than 100 years ago when Chinese immigrants began cultivating domestic bananas in Queensland. Bananas grow on trees that grow between 8 and 30 feet tall. Banana trees don't have woody trunks. Instead, the trunks of banana trees are made of tight bundles of the bottom portion of leaves. The leaves of a banana tree are very large. The visible green leafy portion can often be a third to half the height of the tree. These large leaves shade the banana fruit and flowers. Banana flowers are white and are called inflorescence. They develop without pollination into clusters of fruit that eventually grow to between 2 and 12 inches long.
Apples grow throughout Australia. Varieties commonly grown include Jonathan, Royal Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith and many more. Apple trees are upright growing trees that can range in height from 6 to 10 feet for dwarf varieties to 30 to 50 feet for larger varieties. Apples grow in a variety of different soils, as long as the soil drains well. Apples need full sun and are often more productive when cross pollinated with a different species of apple. Apples require several inches of water per week and will require irrigation in dry parts of the country.
Oranges grow in warmer parts of Australia, mainly in the north. Queensland is the best known orange production region. Most of the orange varieties grown in Queensland are grafted onto a rough lemon rootstock. Varieties of orange grown in Australia include Washington Navel, Mandarins, Hickson, Ellendales and Taylor-Lee, among many others. Orange trees require full sun and plenty of water. Soils in Queensland are often looser than in orange growing parts of North America, hence the use of the lemon rootstock instead of a sour orange rootstock. Although dwarf orange trees can be limited to 3 to 7 feet, most commercial trees are in the range of 25 to 30 feet high if not pruned.