Geographical features, places and buildings

Use maximal capitals for full names of geographical features, places and buildings.

These names may be shortened after their first use in the text. Certain Australian geographical features take a capital even in their shortened forms (eg the Reef). The Northern Territory is also commonly abbreviated to the Territory, but the terms state and territory are not capitalised when used generically. Check a dictionary to determine which shortened forms are capitalised in this way. Do not capitalise the generic component when used as an adjective (eg reef fish) or as a plural.

Examples to illustrate these conventions are set out in the table.

Full formal title Informal, generic and plural use, and shortened forms
  • the Great Barrier Reef
  • the Reef
  • reef fish
  • the Great Australian Bight
  • the Bight
  • the Northern Territory
  • New South Wales
  • the Territory (when referring to the NT)
  • the states and territories (generic uses)
  • the Murray River
  • the river
  • the Murray and Darling rivers
  • river mouth
  • the Murray–Darling Basin
  • the Basin
  • Mount Kosciuszko
  • mounts Kosciuszko and Townsend
  • National Gallery of Australia
  • the National Gallery
  • the gallery
  • Sydney Opera House
  • the Opera House
  • the opera houses in Sydney and Melbourne 

For further details on the use of capital letters in geographical names, see General principles for place names.

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