In pictures: Australian Geographic’s photo prize winners

Stunning images of nature and wildlife across Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and some Pacific islands are recognised each year in the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition. Here are some of this year’s winners.

Aerial image of a dead fin whale surrounded by circling sharks in aquamarine waters off Western AustraliaImage copyright

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This image of sharks circling a beached whale in Western Australia was the overall winner, with judges saying it revealed “incredible beauty in death

A man with an umbrella stands at the edge of a beach in Fingal Bay, New South Wales during a lightning stormImage copyright

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The junior prize was won by 17-year-old Flloyd Mallon, for this shot of a lightning storm in New South Wales

A crested horn shark swallowing the egg case of another shark species underwater in a Sydney reefImage copyright

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A crested horn shark feeds on the egg case of a Port Jackson shark in Sydney

An orange decorator crab covered in many hydroids seen in waters in IndonesiaImage copyright

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Decorator crabs in Indonesia attach stinging hydroids – aquatic invertebrates – to themselves to ward off predators

Two eastern grey kangaroos stand in a field in Kosciuszko National Park amid snowfallImage copyright

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Eastern grey kangaroos in Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales

Huge volumes of water crash down the Barron Falls in Kuranda, QueenslandImage copyright

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Water cascades through the Barron Falls in Queensland during flood season

A Mertens' water monitor lizard gazes at its reflection in the photographer's equipmentImage copyright

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A Mertens’ water monitor approaches photographer Etienne Littlefair’s camera in the Northern Territory

A mum and baby wombat trek through the snow leaving tracks behind them in Kosciuszko National Park, New South WalesImage copyright

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A mother and baby wombat make their way to a neighbouring wombat’s hole in New South Wales

Dolphins dive next to humpback whales seen closer to the surfaceImage copyright

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Male humpback whales swim past dolphins while looking for a female mate, in waters off Tonga

A dead kangaroo in a dry creek in Menindee Lakes in New South WalesImage copyright

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A dry creek in Menindee Lakes, a drought-stricken part of Australia, where animal deaths have caused alarm

All photographs subject to copyright as marked.

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