Found across Australia, though not in the Great Sandy or Great Victoria Deserts or Nullarbor Plain. It is an uncommon vagrant to Tasmania.
Inhabits wetlands and sheltered coastal waters, preferring smooth, open waters for feeding, with tree trunks, branches, stumps or posts fringing the water, for resting and drying its wings. Darters prey upon fish, turtles and aquatic invertebrates.
Swim with their bodies submerged beneath the water's surface, with only the sinuous neck protruding above the water. Darters forage by diving to depths of about 60 centimetres and impale fish with a sharp, spear-like beak.
Atlas of Living Australia at Anhinga novaehollanidae Accessed 29 July 2020.
Birdlife Australia at https://birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/australasian-darter Accessed 27 July 2020.