Posted By John
Land Facts

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.

See also on our website
Comparing the Size of Countries

NSW Map     QLD Map     VIC Map     TAS Map

SA Map     WA Map     NT Map

State or Territory

Area in square kilometres Number of Islands
Islands Mainland Total
 Western Australia 3,089 2,526,786 2,529,875 3,747
 Queensland 1,730 1,723,936 1,730,648 1,955
 Northern Territory 13,387 1,335,742 1,349,129 887
 South Australia 4,672 978,810 983,482 346
 New South Wales 14 800,628 800,642 102
 Victoria 406 227,010 227,416 184
 Tasmania 3,882 64,519 68,401 1000
 Australian Capital Territory 0 2,358 2,358 0
 Jervis Bay Territory 1 72 73 1
Totals 32,163    7,659,861    7,692,024    8,222

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.

Largest Islands

Australia has 8,222 islands within its maritime borders. The following are the 9 largest islands.

Island State or Territory km˛ miles˛
 Tasmania Tasmania 62,409 38,779
 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
 Fraser Island Queensland 1,653 1,027
 Flinders Island Tasmania 1,359 844
 King Island Tasmania 1,091 678
 Mornington Island Queensland 1,002 623
  • 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.

More Information

  1. Australian Antarctic Division – Australian Government site
  2. 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.

Note: all links to other websites open in a new window. When you’re done browsing the other website, close that window. We’ll be here waiting so you can continue your visit with us.

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