Remote Offshore Territories

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As a geographic and economic entity, Australia's territory ranges far beyond its continental borders. The remote offshore territories are located over thousands of kilometres of ocean within the Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans and the Coral Sea in an expanse extending from Antarctica almost to the equator.

Australia's remote offshore territories. Copyright Geoscience Australia

Australia's remote external territories.
© Geoscience Australia


The size of these territories varies greatly. The largest is the Australian Antarctic Territory covering almost 5.9 million square kilometres. The smallest, which are only 2 square kilometres, are in the Ashmore and Cartier Islands Territory off Western Australia.

The most northerly Territory of Christmas Island is only 10° south of the equator and 1565 kilometres northwest from the nearest point of the Australian mainland at Northwest Cape. Its closest Australian neighbour is the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Territory, 900 kilometres to the southwest.

Apart from Antarctica, the most isolated Australian territory is that of the Heard and McDonald Islands 4100 kilometres southwest of Perth.

Overall, there are seven Australian Territories remote from the mainland:

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