Australia postcodes were introduced
and implemented in 1967 in an effort to make mail routing
much easier across the country. Postmaster-General’s
Department (predecessor of Australia Post) spearheaded the
initial implementation of postcodes in the country.
codes replaced older postal sorting systems, including the
alphanumeric codes used in Melbourne and a similar coding
system used across regional and rural areas in New South
Wales. Postcodes in Australia are allocated
using a basic theory making them quite straight forward.
Basically, the postcodes have four digits, which should
follow the address of the recipient. Specific Australian
states are allocated specific postcodes.
All addresses in the Australian
Capital Territory follow postcodes starting in 26—and 29--.
Those in NSW start with 2, Northern Territory 08, Queensland
4, South Australia 5, Tasmania 7, Victoria 3 and Western
There are various number
ranges assigned to PO Boxes. There are also several
exceptions to the rules, particularly addresses in
state borders that are logically geographically
Some postcodes may span beyond
a state. In addition, there are also particular
postcodes for the country’s external territories and
Postcodes assigned to
territory and state capital cities are different, so
they could be easily remembered and identified.
As a general rule, all Australia
postcodes assigned to such cities are ending with
two to three zeroes. General PO Box codes often end
in 01. For
example, postcode in Sydney, NSW is 2000 while PO Box
address code is 2001. In Canberra, it is 2600, while PO Box
is 2601, in Melbourne it is 3000 and 3001, respectively and
so on. Capital city postal codes are the lowest codes in the
state or territory area.
To make mailing better, more effective, easier and more
accurate, there are also Post Office Preferred envelopes
that are sold across the country. Such envelopes (first
introduced in the 1990s) feature four squares that are
located at envelope front’s bottom right corner. Australia
Post often refers to such squares as Postcode Squares,
containing destination postcode for the mail address. Such
squares also make the job easier and more accurate for the
automated mail-sorting machines used. Such equipment
utilizes a software for optical character recognition.
Aside from the mail sorting functions by the Australia Post,
postcodes have also been used by many other organizations
and private businesses. In particular, insurance firms are
using such codes in calculating house and car insurance
premiums. NSW’s Ministry of Transport is also using
postcodes in assigning specific numbers for every bus stop
across the Greater Sydney area. Such bus stop numbers
consist of six digits; postcodes occupy the first four while
the two last digits are specifically assigned. Street
directories also list postcodes for every suburb in maps and