The bioregion contains Lake Galilee, Lake Dunn and Lake Buchanan. The climate is semi-arid with highly variable rainfall. Much of the area is used for cattle grazing and is part of the Great Artesian Basin, lying within both the Galilee and Eromanga Basins. The Brigalow Belt North and Brigalow Belt South are to the east of the bioregion, and the Einasleigh Uplands are located to the north.
In 2003, it was estimated that 13 million trees per year were being destroyed in the Desert Uplands. This placed the percentage of land cleared at 6.8%, the third highest for any Queensland bioregion.
The main rivers in the bioregion are Belyando, Cape, Campaspe, Barcoo and Alice River and Aramac and Torrens Creeks. Wetlands at shallow saline lakes Lake Galilee and Lake Buchanan are listed on the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia.
- "Rangelands - Overview". Australian Natural Resource Atlas (Department of Sustainabililty, Environment, Water, Population and Communities). Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- "Weed Identification". Australian Weeds Committee. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- Lindenmayer, David B.; Mark A. Burgman (2005). Practical Conservation Biology. Csiro Publishing. p. 237. ISBN 0643090894. Retrieved 13 November 2012.