- Postcodes in Australia
Postcodes are used in
Australiafor the purposes of sorting and directing Australia Post.
Postcodes were introduced in Australia in 1967 by the Postmaster-General's Department (PMG), the predecessor of
Australia Post. They replaced earlier postal sorting systems, such as Melbourne's alphanumeric codes (e.g., "N3", "E5") and a similar system once used in rural and regional New South Wales.
Australian Postcodes are four digits long, and written after the name of the city, suburb, or town, and the state or territory: [ [http://www.auspost.com.au/BCP/0,1467,CH2092%257EMO19,00.html Australia Post, "Addressing Guidelines"] ]
:Mr John Smith:400 Kent Street:SYDNEY NSW 2000
Australian postcodes are routing information, and while they are often associated with a single bounded geographical area (e.g. suburb or town) they are not always contiguous areas. They sometimes have quite complex geography, especially in areas beyond the urban fringe (e.g. the southern
Queensland4352 postcode, or the south-western Victoria 3221 postcode). Some postcodes cover large populations (e.g., postcode 4350 serving some 100,000 people in the City of Toowoomba), while other postcodes have much smaller populations, even in urban areas. The postcodes range from as low as 0200 (for the Australian National University) to 9729 (mail addressed to the Gold Coast City Council).
Some postcodes are associated with a single town or suburb (e.g. 6160 belongs only to
Fremantle, Western Australia), while other postcodes are shared by many localities (e.g. 2570 belongs to twenty-two towns and suburbs around Camden, New South Wales).
Some towns and suburbs have two postcodes—one for street deliveries and one for
post office boxes. For instance, a street address in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta would be written thus:
:Mr John Smith:99 George Street:PARRAMATTA NSW 2150
But mail sent to a PO Box in Parramatta would be addressed:
:Mr John Smith:PO Box 99:PARRAMATTA NSW 2124
Many corporations, government departments and other institutions receive large volumes of mail, and are entitled to their own postcode as a Large Volume Receiver ("LVR"), e.g. the
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospitalhas the postcode 4029. More postcode ranges were made available for LVRs in the 1990s, though LVRs do not necessarily use postcodes in these new ranges.
tates and territories
The first one or two digits generally denotes the state or territory that the postcode belongs to: [Australia Post, "Postcodes". Issue No. 30, November 2006]
State/Territory Abbreviation Postcode range New South Wales NSW 1000—1999 "(LVRs and PO Boxes only)"
Australian Capital Territory ACT 0200—0299 "(LVRs and PO Boxes only)"
Victoria VIC 3000—3999
8000—8999 "(LVRs and PO Boxes only)
Queensland QLD 4000—4999
9000—9999 "(LVRs and PO Boxes only)"
South Australia SA 5000—5799
5800—5999 "(LVRs and PO Boxes only)"
Western Australia WA 6000—6797
6800—6999 "(LVRs and PO Boxes only)"
Tasmania TAS 7000—7799
7800—7999 "(LVRs and PO Boxes only)"
Northern Territory NT 0800—0899
0900—0999 "(LVRs and PO Boxes only)"
Some exceptions to these postcode ranges occur in the vicinity of state and territory borders, where Australia Post finds it more convenient to direct mail through a nearby post office that is across the border:
Postcode Suburb State Derived from Postcode Ranges Actual State for this Suburb 0872 ERNABELLA NT SA 0872 FREGON NT SA 0872 INDULKANA NT SA 0872 MIMILI NT SA 0872 NGAANYATJARRA-GILES NT SA 0872 FGIBSON DESERT NORTH NT WA 0872 FGIBSON DESERT SOUTH NT WA 2540 HMAS CRESWELL NSW Jervis Bay Territory 2540 JERVIS BAY NSW Jervis Bay Territory 2611 BRINDABELLA ACT NSW 2611 URIARRA ACT NSW 2620 HUME NSW ACT 2620 KOWEN FOREST NSW ACT 2620 OAKS ESTATE NSW ACT 2620 THARWA NSW ACT 2620 TOP NAAS NSW ACT 3500 PARINGI VIC NSW 3585 MURRAY DOWNS VIC NSW 3586 MALLAN VIC NSW 3644 BAROOGA VIC NSW 3644 LALALTY VIC NSW 3707 BRINGENBRONG VIC NSW
Some or all of the postcodes above may span two states. For example postcode 2620 covers both a suburb in NSW ("Gundaroo") as well as a suburb in the ACT ("Hume") - the postcode is within the ACT range.
Jervis Bay Territory, previously an exclaveof the ACT but now a separate territory, is geographically located on the coast of NSW, just south of the towns of Vincentia and Huskisson, with which it shares a postcode. Mail to the Jervis Bay Territory is still addressed to the ACT.
The digits used to denote the state on each radio callsign in Australia is the same digit as the first digit for postcodes in that state, e.g. "2xx" in New South Wales, "3xx" in Victoria, etc. Radio callsigns pre-date postcodes in Australia by more than forty years.
Australia's external territories are also included in Australia Post's postcode system. While these territories do not belong to any state, they are addressed as such for mail routing purposes:
External territory Postal state Postcode Norfolk Island NSW 2899 Christmas Island WA 6798 Cocos (Keeling) Islands WA 6799
Three scientific bases in Antarctica operated by the
Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditionsshare a postcode with the isolated sub-Antarctic island of Macquarie Island(part of Tasmania): Antarctic base Postal state "'Postcode Casey Station TAS 7151 Davis Station TAS 7151 Mawson Station TAS 7151
tate and territory capital cities
Each state or territory's capital city ends with two zeroes or three zeroes. Capital city postcodes were the lowest postcodes in their state or territory range, before new ranges for LVRs and PO Boxes were made available in more recent times. The last digit can usually be changed from "0" to "1" to obtain the postcode for
General Post Officeboxes in any capital city (though Perth now uses a different range of postcodes for its GPO Boxes): City State/Territory Street Address GPO Box Address Sydney NSW 2000 2001 Canberra ACT 2600 2601 Melbourne Vic 3000 3001 Brisbane Qld 4000 4001 Adelaide SA 5000 5001 Perth WA 6000 6837—6848 Hobart Tas 7000 7001 Darwin NT 0800 0801
Allocation within states
While the first digit of a postcode usually indicates the state or territory, the second digit usually denotes a region within the state. However, postcodes with the same second digit do not always form to a geographically contiguous area. As an example, postcodes in the range 2200—2299 are split between the southern suburbs of Sydney and the Central Coast of New South Wales.
Postcodes with a second digit of "0" or "1" are almost always located within the metropolitan area of the state's capital city. Postcodes with higher second digits are usually located in rural and regional areas. Common exceptions are where towns were considered rural when postcodes were first introduced in 1967, but have since been suburbanised and incorporated into metropolitan areas, e.g.
Penrith, New South Waleshas the postcode 2750 and Petrie, Queenslandhas the postcode 4502.
Within each region with the same second digit, postcodes tend to increase the further one travels from the state's capital city along major highways and railways. For instance, heading north on the North Coast railway in New South Wales away from Sydney:
Town Postcode Distance from Central Station [Bozier, Rolfe. [http://www.nswrail.net/lines/show.php?name=NSW:north_coast "North Coast Line", NSWrail.net] ] Dungog 2420 245km Taree 2430 378km Kempsey 2440 503km Coffs Harbour 2450 607km Grafton 2460 695km Casino 2470 805km
Major towns and cities
Major towns and cities tend to have "0" as the last digit or last two digits, e.g.
Rockhampton, Queenslandhas the postcode 4700 and Ballarat, Victoriahas the postcode 3350. There are exceptions; for instance, the major town of Ipswich, Queenslandhas the postcode 4305, while Goodna, a relatively unimportant suburb of Ipswich, is allocated 4300.
Post Office Preferred envelopes sold in Australia contain four squares in the bottom right corner of the front of the envelope. These squares, referred to by Australia Post as "Postcode Squares", contain the destination postcode for hand-addressed mail. This is for the purpose of Australia Post's automated mail-sorting equipment, which uses
optical character recognitionsoftware. Postcode Squares were introduced in the 1990s.
Australia Post recommends that Postcode Squares should not be used for machine-addressed mail, or mail destined overseas.
Since their introduction, many organisations other than Australia Post have used postcodes in their operations. Insurance companies often use postcodes when calculating car and house insurance premiums. The NSW Ministry of Transport uses postcodes to assign specific numbers for each bus stop in
Greater Sydney. The bus stop number is six digits, the first four being the postcode, plus two extra digits.
To improve the efficiency of mechanised sorting, each address now has a sorting number which is printed on the letter as an orange coloured barcode. This number might be 12 digits long. This system enables the delivery officer to place items in delivery order.
List of postcodes in the Australian Capital Territory
List of postcodes in New South Wales
List of postcodes in Queensland
List of postcodes in South Australia
List of postcodes in Tasmania
List of postcodes in Victoria
List of postcodes in Western Australia
List of postcodes in the Northern Territory
* [http://www1.auspost.com.au/postcodes/ Australia Post: Postcode Search]
* [http://www.ezysheet.com/FreeAusPostcodes.html Australian Postcode Lookup program for your PC]
* [http://www.australianpostcodesearch.com/ Australian Postcode Boundary Map (Google API Based)]
* [http://www.homehelp4u.net/postcode_tool/postcode_list.php Search Australian Postcodes, Cities and Suburbs with Map]
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