Transport and infrastructure in Australia

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of Australia with the average of all countries in the Australian continent. Overall, the traffic routes are above average and in good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Australia ranks 4th in the world with 1.30 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 33,343 kilometers long. Freight traffic on the rails most recently totaled 453.09 billion tons and kilometers traveled. Passenger traffic reached 9.33 billion passenger-kilometers in 2021.

The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the 25,760 km of coastline. In 2020, about 8.47 million freight containers were transported.

Airports in Australia

Back to overview: Australia

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 873,573 km. For each of the country's 25.69 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 34.01 meters. This puts Australia in 14th place in the global ranking. However, it is also important to note that the country's population density is very low at around 3 inhabitants per km². In this case, disproportionately long distances generally have to be covered to reach the more remote parts of the country.

With an average of 1276 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in Australia is considered relatively safe. This corresponds to 5.2 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

In Australia, left-hand traffic is the rule on the roads, i.e. you drive in the left lane and overtake on the right. Oncoming traffic comes to meet you on the right side. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.


Australia (Country)

 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways873,600 km34,006.94 km112.85 m
Railroads33,300 km1,298.00 km4.31 m
Waterways2,000 km77.86 km0.26 m
Commercial harbors58122.620.000

Australia (Continent)

 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways967,800 km31,407.04 km120.84 m
Railroads37,500 km1,216.57 km4.68 m
Waterways2,000 km64.90 km0.25 m
Commercial harbors69622.590.000

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Australia: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in AustraliaThe 30 biggest airports and 8 airlines in Australia with further information and data with further information on airlines and destinations
Australia: ClimateClimate and temperature development in AustraliaA climate analysis for Australia incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, water temperature, rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing