Is Australia a continent or country?

Is Australia a continent or country?

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Is Australia a continent or country? Why is Australia a continent and not an island? Well it is both really and it is also a large country. Here is some brief discussion about the topic that causes so much confusion.

Depending on which criteria you wish to believe in any definition of what is a continent, it basically comes down to tectonic plates in layman’s terms. The world’s seven major plates include North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, Indo-Australian, Pacific and Antarctica. Most of these plates contain multiple countries. However, the Indo-Australian plate predominantly contains a geologically separate land mass called Australia. This sits on a continental shelf that contains some smaller islands nearby but because Australia dominates most of this shelf it is called a continent.

There are other factors that people consider in any definition of Australia being a continent as well. Australia has its own unique fauna that is not found in nature anywhere else because it is separated from other land masses. The fact that it is a land mass surrounded by water (an island) is another reason why it is considered to be a continent and an island at the same time. Also, officially the Commonwealth of Australia is what the country is called. This is also considered by some people to be one criterion in determining if Australia is a continent in its own right.

So Australia is quite unique in that it can be called a continent officially but also an island and of course a country all rolled into one. It should be noted that unlike other continental land masses Australia is one country on its own. It does not contain other countries within it. So when you see Google searches for countries in Australia continent then you will know that there are no countries. Finally, it should also be noted that contrary to belief among some people in America, the country of Australia does not have an American zip code because it is not another state of America 🙂


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