Biggest Australian States and Territories By Land Area

Western Australia is the largest state/territory in the country.
Western Australia is the largest state/territory in the country.

Australia is one of the world’s largest countries and it is unique due to its low population density and for wildlife that is uniquely found in Australia. Australia is also famous for hosting the Great Barrier Reef which is the largest coral reef on earth. Australia’s total land area is about 2,957,431 square miles. Western Australia is the largest state in the country while the Australian Capital Territory is the smallest.

Biggest Australian States and Territories By Land Area

Western Australia

Occupying an area of about 975,598 square miles, Western Australia is Australia’s largest state. The area has a low population density as more than 90% of inhabitants reside in the South West Land Division, leaving large tracts of land unoccupied. In 1616 a Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog became the first European to set foot in the region, however indigenous Australians had lived in the area for more than 40,000 years. On September 16, 1831, York was established as the region’s initial inland settlement. The discovery of gold around Kalgoorlie and subsequent construction of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme were some of the main factors that led to the region’s growth both economically and population-wise.The region provides a habitat to approximately 540 bird species that attract large numbers of tourists to the area.


The name Queensland was chosen as a tribute to the queen of England at the time, Queen Victoria, who officially separated Queensland from New South Wales in 1859. Queensland’s total area is approximately 665,615 square miles which makes it Australia’s second largest state. A large majority of the region’s 5,000,000 people reside along the coast mainly in cities as 10 of the 30 largest cities in Australia are found in the state. In 1606 Willem Janszoon became the first European to set foot not only in Queensland but also the entire Australian continent.The state of Queensland has a storied history starting from the time when the indigenous Australians solely inhabited it to more recent times. The region, particularly the town of Barcaldine, bears the distinction of being the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party.

Northern Territory

The third largest state (or in this case territory) in Australia is the Northern Territory which covers an area of about 515,733 squared miles with a population of approximately 244,000 people. The area’s population mainly consists of young people since people aged over 64 make up only 5.7% of the total population. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the region for more than 60,000 years while the first successful European settlement was established by the British at Port Darwin after the failure of previous attempts. Mining and construction are the two major industries in the region. The area is also popular among local and international tourists mainly due to the beauty of the landscape.

The Indigenous People of Australia

The land is essential to the indigenous Australians, and the government recognized this when they passed the Aboriginal land rights legislation. The laws were meant to correct historical injustices particularly the dispossession of indigenous land. The land obtained through this law is usually considered community land.

Biggest Australian States and Territories By Land Area

RankStateLand Area (sq km)
1Western Australia2,526,786
3Northern Territory1,335,742
4South Australia978,810
5New South Wales800,628
8Australian Capital Territory2,280

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