Area of Australia - States and Territories

Land areas of States and Territories

Australia is the world's sixth largest country, after Russia, Canada, China, the USA, and Brazil. In addition to the mainland, Australia is surrounded by many thousands of small fringing islands and numerous larger ones, which, overall, amount to an area half the size of Tasmania.

STATE/TERRITORY % (square kilometres)
MAINLAND AREA ISLAND AREA TOTAL AREA
Western Australia 33.0 2 526 786 3089 2 529 875
Queensland 22.5 1 723 936 6712 1 730 648
Northern Territory 17.5 1 335 742 13 387 1 349 129
South Australia 12.7 978 810 4672 983 482
New South Wales 10.4 800 628 14 800 642
Victoria 3.0 227 010 406 227 416
Tasmania 0.9 64 519 3882 68 401
Australian Capital Territory < 1 2358 2358
Jervis Bay Territory (ACT*) < 1 72 1 73
AUSTRALIA 7 659 861 32 163 7 692 024

*Australian Capital Territory

Calculations on Australia’s area are based on data explained in Geoscience Australia’s GEODATA Coast 100K 2004 page. The data is nationally uniform, is sourced primarily from the 1:100 000 scale National Topographic Map Series and is the most authoritative data source currently available to calculate the area of Australia.

Australian Capital Territory and Jervis Bay Territory

The Canberra - Yass district was chosen as the site of the new national capital in 1908. An area covering 2358 square kilometres was ceded to the Commonwealth in 1911, forming the Australian Capital Territory. It was considered that the capital should have its own port and consequently the Jervis Bay Territory was formed in 1915 when land was surrendered to the Commonwealth by New South Wales.

Marine areas of States and Territories

The marine areas of states and territories are referred to as coastal waters. This is a belt of water between the territorial sea baseline, which usually is the low water line along the coast of the states and the Northern Territory, and a line three nautical miles or 5.5 kilometres seaward from the baseline.

STATE/TERRITORY % MARINE AREA (square kilometers)
Queensland 29.7 121 994
Western Australia 28.2 115 740
Northern Territory 17.5 71 839
South Australia 14.6 60 032
Tasmania 5.4 22 357
Victoria 2.5 10 213
New South Wales 2.1 8802
AUSTRALIA 410 977
Source: Maritime Boundaries Program, Geoscience Australia. 12 January 2001.

Notes:

  • Albers projection was used to calculate areas.
  • The adjacent areas of each of the states and the Northern Territory as determined under the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 was used to split into state and territory jurisdiction.
  • Figures include water areas around offshore islands where appropriate. The Queensland figure includes the water area around the Torres Strait Islands and reef islands, but not Coral Sea Islands.