Australian quartz has been widely considered particularly suitable for OSL dating of sediments. We present the results of a preliminary investigation into the luminescence characteristics and behaviour of quartz from various regions and depositional contexts across southeastern Australia. In doing so, we find that quartz from this region is generally well suited to the SAR protocol, although individual sample behaviour should nevertheless be assessed to confirm this. Furthermore, luminescence sensitivity appears to relate to depositional context, with aeolian samples exhibiting the highest sensitivity values, and lacustrine and periglacial sediments the lowest. The extent of a sample's sedimentary history, which in many cases is characteristic of the region from which it is derived, may also influence quartz sensitisation through repeated cycles of burial and reworking. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.