A Guide To Phone Codes In Australia

Australian Phone Prefixes Explained: The Definitive Guide

Table of contents

Phone number prefixes are the initial digits of a telephone number, providing valuable information about the location and type of service associated with the number. For businesses, telephone prefixes are more than just numbers. They are tools that affect business operations, customer perception, and overall communication efficiency.

Understanding phone prefixes is crucial for businesses, particularly in a diverse and geographically expansive country like Australia. With the right virtual telephone number provider, businesses can choose the most appropriate and strategic numbers to suit their operational needs, effectively improving their chance to target local markets.

What is a Phone Prefix?

A phone prefix is a series of digits that precede the main phone number, indicating the geographic region or the type of service associated with the number. These prefixes help to route calls so that they reach the intended recipients.

In many countries, including Australia, phone prefixes help distinguish between different types of calls, such as local, national, mobile, and emergency services. In Australia, phone prefixes identify a phone number's region, state, or service type. For instance, 1800 is used for toll-free services, and 1300 is used for informational services.

Here is a detailed breakdown of Australian phone number prefixes:





Emergency (police, fire, ambulance)


Satellite services




Free call


Premium-rate voice services


Information services


Business and goverment services


Key Australian Telephone Prefix Codes

Australian telephone prefix codes include a combination of the country code, trunk prefix, area codes for different regions, specific prefixes for mobile phones, and special numbers for services.

Australian Phone Number Prefix

Australia uses a trunk prefix of 0. It is dialed before the area code when making long-distance calls within the country. For example, if you are in Sydney (02 area) and want to call Melbourne (03 area), you need to dial 03 followed by the local number. This ensures calls are correctly routed through the national network.

Australian Mobile Prefix

The mobile area code for Australia is 04 and 05. In 2015, the 05 Australian mobile prefix was reserved for digital mobile phones as part of the Telecommunications Numbering Plan 2015 to meet the demand for numbers. By 2012, more than 60% of possible 04 mobile number combinations had been used. 05 mobile numbers will be allotted when 04 combinations are exhausted. This system ensures that Australia can accommodate the growing number of mobile phone users and the increasing demand for new mobile numbers.

International Phone Prefix for Australia

When dialing an Australian number from outside the country, you need to use the Australian country code or international phone prefix, which is 61. For international calls made from within Australia, the outgoing IDD (International Direct Dialing) access code is 0011. These codes are necessary for correctly routing international calls to and from Australia.

Australian Country Code (from outside Australia) - 61
Outgoing IDD access code (from within Australia) - 0011

Special Service Numbers

Australia has a range of special service numbers with distinct prefixes indicating their purpose. Some key categories are emergency and helpline numbers, free call and toll-free numbers, premium rate and special services, shared cost services, and directory assistance and information services. Only area code is required when calling an emergency number. 

Special Service Numbers


Used For

Emergency and helpline numbers


Emergency number for police, fire, and ambulance services


The international emergency number for mobile phones


Text-based emergency service for people with hearing or speech impairments

Free call and toll-free numbers


Free call numbers.


Short local rate number


Local rate numbers

Premium rate and special services


Premium rate services with high call charges

Shared cost services


Caller pays local call cost

Directory assistance and information services


Directory assistance


General information and connection services

Australian State Telephone Area Codes

Australia is divided into several telephone area codes, which help identify the caller's geographical region. Each state and territory has its own designated phone codes.

Here is a breakdown of the major area codes and the regions they cover:

Area Codes




Central East

New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory

South East

Victoria and Tasmania
04 and 05



North East


Central and West

Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia

New South Wales (NSW) and Australian Capital Territory (ACT): 02

The 02 area code covers the Central East region of Australia. It includes the entire state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Major cities such as  Sydney, Newcastle, and Canberra fall under this code. Towns on the New South Wales border, like Deniliquin and Buronga, use the Victorian (03) area code. Tweed Heads, also on the NSW border, uses the Queensland (07) area code.

Victoria (VIC): 03

The 03 area code is designated for the southeast region, covering the states of Victoria and Tasmania. 03 phone code covers Melbourne and regional areas like Geelong, Ballarat, and Bendigo. Most public telephones in the state are operated by Telstra.

For landline phones in Victoria, most areas use the 03 telephone code. However, towns near the New South Wales border in the northeast, like Wodonga and Rutherglen, have the 02 code. In the south-west, near the border with South Australia, places like Nelson use the 08 code.

Queensland (QLD): 07

07 is the phone code for Queensland. It services the entire Northeast region, including the state capital, Brisbane, and other cities such as the Gold Coast, Townsville, and Cairns. The first telephone call in Queensland occurred on January 28, 1878, from Brisbane to Ipswich. By June 1880, the Brisbane exchange opened, becoming one of Australia’s first manual exchanges. The spread of telephony in the state is mostly due to the Brisbane exchange.

South Australia (SA): 08

The telephone area code for South Australia is 08. It shares phone code 08 with Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Cities within this telephone code include Adelaide, Gladstone, Windsor, and Mount Gambier.

Western Australia (WA): 08

Western Australia shares area code 08 with South Australia and the Northern Territory. It comprises cities Albany, Boulder, Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Mandurah, Perth, and Rockingham.

Tasmania (TAS): 03

Tasmania is an island state off the southern coast of Australia. The phone code for Tasmania is 03. It shares the 03 area code with Victoria. Key cities within Tasmania include Hobart, Launceston, and Devonport.

Northern Territory (NT): 08

The Northern Territory uses the 08 area code, which it shares with South Australia and Western Australia. The cities and towns under this phone code are Darwin, Palmerston, Alice Springs, Katherine, and Tennant Creek.

Summing Up

Prefix for Australian telephone numbers can denote specific regions, helping businesses target local markets more effectively. For instance, having a local prefix can enhance trust and accessibility for customers within that region. Additionally, toll-free and premium-rate prefixes offer businesses options for customer support and revenue generation through specialized services. 

For businesses looking to leverage these benefits, Calilio provides an efficient solution providing a virtual Australia phone number. Calilio is a modern business phone system that offers phone numbers covering all Australian phone prefixes, including local numbers, toll-free numbers, and shared cost services. Whether you want to establish a local presence in multiple regions, offer free call services to enhance customer support or set up premium-rate numbers for specialized services, Calilio ensures you have access to the right phone numbers with ease and flexibility.


What is the prefix for Australian mobile numbers?

The Australian mobile prefixes are 04 and 05. This prefix is followed by eight digits, making the standard format for Australian mobile numbers as 04XX XXX XXX or 05XX XXX XXX.

Do all Australian mobile numbers start with 04?

Australian mobile numbers start with 04 or 05. 04 and 05 are the mobile codes of Australia that help distinguish mobile numbers from landline numbers. Landlines use different telephone codes based on geographic regions. For example, the 07 area code is designated for Queensland, while the 03 area code in Australia is reserved for Tasmania and Victoria.

Latest Posts

From the blog

The latest news, technologies, and resources from our team.

Gain Insights, Lead the Change

Delve into our blog for tips and strategies to maximize efficiency. Start reading, and stay ahead.

International Number

Get International Numbers

Copyright © 2024 Calilio