Australia is the world’s smallest continent but the 6th largest country. Land size includes over 32,000 square kilometres of islands surrounding the mainland.
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Comparing the Size of Countries
State or Territory
|Area in square kilometres||Number of Islands|
|New South Wales||14||800,628||800,642||102|
|Australian Capital Territory||0||2,358||2,358||0|
|Jervis Bay Territory||1||72||73||1|
NOTE: We did not include the Antarctic territory in the Australian figures for total size because Australia’s claim has not been recognized by the world.
There are 7 nations (Argentina, Australia, Britain, Chile, France, New Zealand, and Norway) who have claimed land in the Antarctic with some claims overlapping. The Antarctic Treaty of 1961 does not allow any single country to control any part of Antarctica and has put all territorial claims on hold for the duration of the treaty. Until all the land claims are resolved, no one actually owns Antarctica right now so no one includes Antarctica in their country’s total land size.
Australia has 8,222 islands within its maritime borders. The following are the 9 largest islands.
|Island||State or Territory||km˛||miles˛|
|Melville Island||Northern Territory||5,786||3,595|
|Kangaroo Island||South Australia||4,416||2,744|
|Groote Eylandt||Northern Territory||2,285||1,420|
|Bathurst Island||Northern Territory||1,693||1,052|
- Tasmania is an island state 240km (150 mi) south of the Australian continent, separated by Bass Strait. The Tasmanian Island is the 26th largest island in the world.
- Kangaroo island is famous for its honey and for being the oldest bee
sanctuary in the world (since 1881). How Kangaroo Island got it’s name.
- The manganese mine on Groote Eylandt produces more than 2 million tonnes
a year or about 10% of the world’s production of the ore.
- Fraser Island (known as K’gari by the Butchulla) is the world’s largest sand island and has been World Heritage listed since 1992 due to its uniqueness. You’ll find on Fraser Island 40 perched dune lakes, half the number of such lakes in the world and the world’s largest perched lake (almost 200ha) Lake Boomanjin.
Facts and Figures
If you do any research on land facts, you will come across different figures given for the same item. For example one source says Tasmania’s area is 62,409 km˛, while another says 68,401 km˛. Would you believe they’re both correct .. almost. If you’re talking about the Australian state of Tasmania then 68,401 km˛ would be right. But if you’re talking about the Tasmanian island, 62,409 km˛ is correct. Confused? The state of Tasmania includes the Tasmanian island plus about 1,000 surrounding islands. Misunderstanding what a fact represents leads to errors that can be easily copied and quoted from one website to another.
I consider myself lucky to have wonderful readers who let me know when I have a problem with some information on our website. Then it’s back to the books to check and update the information as needed.
- Australian Antarctic Division – Australian Government site
- Queensland Government / Fraser Island
Almost everything you ever wanted to know about Fraser Island including helpful camping, tours and driving information for the island.
Note: This information is for entertainment purposes. We assume no liability resulting from any errors or omissions. Translation . . . we’ve done our best to bring you accurate information. For official facts and figures, please visit any of the many Australian government websites available such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
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