Location of Australia

This outline of Australia is an overview of and topical guide to various aspects of the country of Australia.

Australia refers to both the continent of Australia and to the Commonwealth of Australia, the sovereign country.

The continent of Australia, the world's smallest continent, is in the Southern Hemisphere and borders both the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

The Commonwealth of Australia comprises the mainland of the Australian continent, the major island of Tasmania, other nearby islands, and various external territories.[1]

Neighbouring countries are Indonesia, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east.

The Australian mainland has been inhabited for at least 50,000 years by Aboriginal Australians.[2] After sporadic visits by fishermen from the north and then European discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606,[3] the eastern half of Australia was later claimed by the British in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation as part of the colony of New South Wales, commencing on 26 January 1788. As the population grew and new areas were explored, another five largely self-governing Crown colonies were established during the 19th century.

General reference

An enlargeable basic map of Australia


An enlargeable topographic map of Australia
Climatic zones in Australia, based on Köppen classification.
Extreme points of mainland Australia

Further information: Australia (continent)

Geography of Australia


An enlargeable satellite image of Australia

Environment of Australia

Geographic features

See also: Category:Landforms of Australia


Main article: Regions of Australia

Multi-state regions

Administrative divisions

Australian external territories

States and territories of Australia

Mainland territories
External territories

Local government in Australia


Demographics of Australia

State/territory Land area (km2) Rank Population (2012)[4] Rank Population density (/km2) Rank % of population in capital Rank
 New South Wales 800,642 5th 7,348,900 1st 9.18 3rd 63.5% 5th
 Victoria 227,416 6th 5,679,600 2nd 24.97 2nd 74.8% 4th
 Queensland 1,730,648 2nd 4,610,900 3rd 2.66 5th 47.5% 7th
 Western Australia 2,529,875 1st 2,472,700 4th 0.98 7th 76.7% 3rd
 South Australia 983,482 4th 1,662,200 5th 1.69 6th 76.8% 2nd
 Tasmania 68,401 7th 512,400 6th 7.49 4th 42.3% 8th
 Australian Capital Territory 2,358 8th 379,600 7th 160.98 1st 98.7% 1st
 Northern Territory 1,349,129 3rd 236,900 8th 0.18 8th 55.6% 6th

Government and politics

Political parties in government in 1945.
  Other Coalition
  No government

Main articles: Government of Australia and Politics of Australia

Federal government

Government of Australia

Branches of the government

Separation of powers in Australia

Executive branch
Legislative branch
Judicial branch

Judiciary of Australia


Australian Defence Force (ADF)

Foreign relations

Main articles: Foreign relations of Australia and Diplomatic history of Australia

International organisation membership

The Commonwealth of Australia is a member of the:[1]

Law and order

Law of Australia

State and territory governments

Local government

Local government in Australia

See also: Local government


Map showing the creation of the colonies/states and mainland territories.

Main articles: History of Australia and Timeline of Australian history

History of states


Culture of Australia

Economy and infrastructure

Economy of Australia

State economies


Main articles: Education in Australia and Lists of schools in Australia

States education

Religion and belief systems in Australia


Sport in Australia

See also


  1. ^ a b "Australia". The World Factbook. United States Central Intelligence Agency. 2 July 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  2. ^ Both Australian Aborigines and Europeans Rooted in Africa – 50,000 years ago
  3. ^ MacKnight, CC (1976).The Voyage to Marege: Macassan Trepangers in Northern Australia. Melbourne University Press
  4. ^ a b "Australian Demographic Statistics December 2020". Retrieved 3 May 2021.

Wikimedia Atlas of Australia