Postal/ZIP Codes and Postal Services in Australia

Information on how to address mail and send a letter or parcel in Australia. Also information on forwarding mail and counter services available in Post Offices...

Postal services in Australia are provided by Australia Post. Their website provides information on all their services including post codes, currency conversion, bill paying, banking, car insurance, international postage guidelines and post office locations and opening hours.

Postal/ZIP Codes in Australia

Australian post codes are made up of four numbers. Each state and territory has different initial digits, as follows:

  • Australian Capital Territory 2600 to 2618 and 29**
  • New South Wales 2***
  • Northern Territory 08** and 09**
  • Queensland 4***
  • South Australia 5***
  • Tasmania 7***
  • Victoria 3***
  • Western Australia 6***

Post Office (PO) Boxes and users who receive a high volume of mail have different numbers. Exceptions to the list above also occur where state borders are geographically complex. Australian postcodes are maintained by Australia Post, who have a postcode finding service on their website.

Australian Addresses

Australia Post advises that addresses should be written as follows to aid reading by their advanced letter sorting technology:

  1. The address should take up three lines of writing.
  2. The first line should give the recipient's name.
  3. The second line should contain the recipient's street name and number, or Post Office Box number.
  4. The third line should have the recipient's place name or post office of delivery, state or territory abbreviation and postcode. This line should be written in capitals, with no punctuation or underlining.
  5. For overseas mail the country should be included, in capitals, on the bottom line.
  6. When extra information is needed, such a company name, it should be placed below the first line of the address.

For example, an address should be written as follows:

  • Person Name
    146 Lonsdale Street
    MELBOURNE VIC 3172

Many Australian envelopes come with four marked squares for the postcode. Overseas postcodes should not be inserted into these boxes, even if they fit.

  • For more information on addressing guidelines from Australia Post: Click here

Mail and Postal Services

Australia Post retail outlets and post boxes

Australia Post services are available at their outlets which are located throughout the country. As well as post offices some retail outlets can be found in other locations, such as hospitals or shops. There are two types of post box: red post boxes and gold express post boxes. Red boxes should be used for standard mail. Express Post is a fast service which guarantees next business day delivery. Items to be sent using this service can be posted in gold posting boxes or at a post office.

  • To find out more about the Express Post service: Click here

The Australia Post Internet site has a search facility that allows users to locate all post offices and post boxes throughout Australia. It is also possible to see opening times and which services are available at different outlets.

Stamps

Postage stamps can be purchased from Australia Post retail outlets. They are sold in books of 10 or 20 stamps, or larger boxes of 100 or 200. Prepaid envelopes are also available and can be used to post items to destinations throughout Australia. They are available in a range of sizes. Personalised stamps, which can include a photo or other design of choice, are available.

  • To find out more about personalised stamps: Click here

Standard mail services vary in price depending on the size of the letter being sent and whether the next day priority service is used.

  • To find out more about standard letter services, prices and delivery times: Click here

Registered post

Registered post is a secure delivery service for mail within Australia and overseas. When an item is posted at a post office proof of posting is provided and a signature is required to confirm delivery. Compensation is available for a failed delivery. Further insurance and delivery confirmation, via a card with the recipients signature being delivered to the sender, are available at further cost. Mail may be delayed and there is no proof of postage if registered post items are posted in a post box rather than at a post office.

The cost of registered post depends on the size of the item being sent and the service being used. The price can be minimised by purchasing prepaid envelopes, labels or padded bags.

Sending parcels in Australia

The Australia Post website has a comprehensive guide to parcel services within Australia including costs, delivery times and special services.

Sending mail overseas

A number of international delivery services are available via Australia Post. Service options include fast delivery, courier and signature services as well as mail tracking. The cost of postage will depend on the size of the item being sent the destination country and the service being used. The Australia Post website includes helpful advice covering issues such as customs declarations, delivery time zones, aviation security and posting valuable items.

Receiving mail

Australia Post offers a number of services to help people manage their mail. It is possible to set up a post office box or "private bag" and to have mail redirected.

  • For more information on mail management services: Click here

Post Office Services

Australia Post offers a number of other services in addition to mail postage and delivery:

  1. Postbillpay: A bill paying service which allows bills to be paid in person and online. It is a secure service allowing thousands of different types of bills to be paid.
  2. Car insurance: To find out more about car insurance with Australia Post: Click here.
  3. Personal banking: Australia Post offers personal banking services on behalf of many banks and financial institutions. It is possible to make deposits or withdrawals, check the balance of an account and pay a credit card bill. There is no charge for the service and it can be accessed by anyone with an account with a participating bank. For more information: Click here.
  4. Sending money: A number of money transfer services are available to ensure that money can be sent securely within Australia and overseas. For more information: Click here.
  5. Travel and passport services: Foreign currency is available commission-free at post offices in Australia. Visas and other travel documents can also be arranged as can mail holding or redirecting services. For more information: Click here.
  6. Telephone services: Australia Post offers a range of mobile and home telephone services. Prepaid mobile phones, calling cards and broadband Internet services are available. For more information: Click here.
  7. Moving home services: There are a number of services available to make moving home easier. Mail can either be held or redirected to a different address, and gas, water and electricity services managed. To find out more about moving services: Click here.
  8. Identity checks and services: Australia Post can conduct passport interviews, witness documents and carry out a range of identity checks. For more information: Click here.

Unsolicited Mail

It is possible to limit the amount of unwanted mail that is delivered to an address. A "No Junk Mail" or "Addressed Mail Only" sticker can be placed on a mailbox. This will prevent Australia Post, but not necessarily other companies, from delivering mail, such as catalogues, which are not addressed. To stop receiving mail from businesses an individual can register with the Australian Direct Marketing Association "Do Not Mail" register.

  • To find out more about the Do Not Mail register: Click here