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Approaching Lord Howe Island. (Photo: Peter Hill). Link to Oceans and Seas

Oceans and Seas

Australia has sovereign rights over an area of ocean greater in size than its continental land mass.

Alexandria Bay, Qld. (Photo: Viewfinder Australia). Click to go to Coastline Lengths page.

Coastline Lengths

Often deeply incised and fronting numerous seas and oceans, the coastline extends almost 60 000 kilometres in length with 40 per cent encircling islands.

Wilson's Promontory, Victoria. Click to go to Continental Extremities page.

Continental Extremities

The Australian continent is almost as long as it is wide.

VIC-SA border sign near Murray River. (Photo: Alan Middleton). Click to go to Size of Australia page.

Area of Australia, States and Territories

Of the six states and three mainland territories, the two largest occupy more than half of Australia.

Australia compared with Europe. Click to go to Australia's size compared page.

Australia's Size Compared

Australia comprises just five per cent of the world's land area, yet it is the planet's sixth largest country.

Northern Territory. Click to go to Centre of Australia page.

Centre of Australia, States and Territories

Officially, there is no centre of Australia, but over time and with ingenuity, several methods for calculating the centre of the mainland have been developed.

NSW-Victoria border cairn at the Snowy River. (Photo: Tony McLeod). Click to go to State and Territory Borders page.

State and Territory Borders

The positions of the borders are mostly familiar. The more unusual include one separating states which is only 85 metres long and another which is entirely surrounded by a state.

Flood in Brisbane caused by cyclone 'Wanda', January 1974. Click to go to Climatic Extremes page.

Climatic Extremes

Flooding rains and searing temperatures produce a highly variable climatic pattern which moulds Australia's landscape, its nature and human activity.

Link to Map of Australia showing external territories.

Remote Offshore Territories

As a geographic and economic entity, Australia's territory ranges far beyond its political and continental borders.

Topic contact: education@ga.gov.au Last updated: November 18, 2010