Eastern states of Australia

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The eastern Australian states. States in red are always defined as eastern. The term can sometimes be applied to the states in orange Australia eastern states.png
The eastern Australian states. States in red are always defined as eastern. The term can sometimes be applied to the states in orange

The eastern states of Australia are the states adjoining the east continental coastline of Australia. These are the mainland states of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and the island state of Tasmania; the Australian Capital Territory and Jervis Bay Territory, while not states, are also included. On some occasions, the southern state of South Australia is also included in this grouping due to its economic ties with the eastern states.


Regardless of which definition is used, the eastern states include the majority – at least 80% – of the Australian population. They contain the federal capital Canberra and Australia's three largest cities Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (all capitals of the respective east coast states), as well as the three largest non-capital cities in the country: Gold Coast, Queensland; Newcastle, New South Wales; and Wollongong, New South Wales. In terms of climate, the area is dominated by a humid subtropical zone, with some tropical (Queensland) and oceanic climate (Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, New South Wales) zones. In most situations, the eastern states are defined as those who use Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), and that is the definition that this article will adhere to, unless noted.

Divisions between the east and west

Since the 1980s, governments have proposed building a high-speed rail in Australia. However, this rail would only go through the eastern states of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. [1] [2] Adelaide has often been included in the proposal, however former Greens leader Bob Brown said that a rail connecting Perth was inevitable. [3]

Politicians and newspapers from Western Australia frequently use the term(s) to emphasise the "them and us" attitude with respect to the state's isolation from the rest of the country. For example, in 2016 WAtoday ran an article with the headline "Ten reasons why Perth trumps the East Coast of Australia". [4]

In 2015 international visitors in Australia spent $24.1 billion. The eastern states and territory made $20.5 billion of that total, or 85%. [5] [6] Likewise, the eastern states collected 8,588,000 (85%) individual visits to a state over that year, out of a possible 10,133,000. [5]


The combined population of Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania is 19,484,100, or 81% of Australia's population. [7] These five states and territory cover 2,829,463 km², or 37% of Australia's total land area. [8]


Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA) or Significant Urban Areas (SUA), with a population of over 30,000, from north to south:

City [9] State/territoryPopulationPercentage of national population
Cairns Queensland178,6490.80%
Townsville Queensland162,292 [10] 0.73%
Mackay Queensland85,0400.36%
Rockhampton Queensland80,3450.38%
Gladstone Queensland32,0730.14%
Bundaberg Queensland70,5400.32%
Hervey Bay Queensland48,6800.22%
Sunshine Coast Queensland297,3801.33%
Brisbane Queensland2,274,56010.18%
Toowoomba Queensland113,6250.51%
Gold Coast-Tweed Heads Queensland/New South Wales614,3792.75%
Coffs Harbour New South Wales68,0520.29%
Tamworth New South Wales41,8100.18%
Port Macquarie New South Wales44,8750.19%
Dubbo New South Wales36,6220.16%
Newcastle-Maitland New South Wales430,7551.83%
Orange New South Wales39,7660.17%
Central Coast (Gosford)New South Wales304,7531.36%
Bathurst New South Wales35,3910.15%
Sydney New South Wales4,840,62820.61%
Wollongong New South Wales289,2361.23%
Bowral-Mittagong New South Wales37,4950.16%
Nowra-Bomaderry New South Wales35,3830.15%
Mildura-Wentworth Victora/New South Wales49,8360.21%
Wagga Wagga New South Wales55,3640.24%
Canberra-Queanbeyan Australian Capital Territory/New South Wales422,5101.80%
Albury-Wodonga New South Wales/Victoria87,8900.37%
Shepparton-Mooroopna Victoria49,0790.21%
Bendigo Victoria91,6920.39%
Ballarat Victoria98,5430.42%
Melbourne Victoria4,440,32818.90%
Warragul-Drouin Victoria32,6980.14%
Geelong Victoria184,1820.78%
Traralgon-Morwell Victoria40,8510.17%
Warrnambool Victoria33,8560.14%
Devonport Tasmania30,4450.13%
Launceston Tasmania86,3930.37%
Hobart Tasmania219,2430.93%

See also

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  1. "Turnbull plan to put Australia back on the slow road towards high-speed rail". The Age.
  2. "Greens to push $40bn fast-rail link to Sydney". The Age. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012.
  3. "Study on the impact of a high-speed rail line on Sydney Airport". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012.
  4. Rebecca Boteler (29 March 2016). "Ten reasons why Perth trumps the East Coast". WA Today.
  5. 1 2 "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "International Visitors In Australia: Year Ending December 2015" (PDF). Tourism Research Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 March 2016.
  7. "Australian Demographic Statistics, Mar 2016". abs.gov.au. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  8. "Area of Australia – States and Territories". ga.gov.au. Geoscience Australia. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  9. "Census of Population and Housing".
  10. "2011 Census QuickStats: Townsville".

Further reading

Coordinates: 27°S146°E / 27°S 146°E / -27; 146