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Ashmore and Cartier Islands Google Map

Are you ready for a virtual adventure to one of Earth’s most remote and fascinating places? Strap in because today we’re diving into the Ashmore and Cartier Islands – a hidden gem in the vast Indian Ocean. These islands are a paradise to explore with their pristine beaches, diverse wildlife, and enchanting coral reefs. And what better way to embark on this journey than through Google Maps? Join us as we navigate this breathtaking archipelago from the comfort of our screens. So grab your imagination goggles and prepare for an unforgettable virtual expedition!

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The Ashmore and Cartier Islands, located in Southeastern Asia in the Indian Ocean, have a history of international interest and maritime significance. Initially frequented by Indonesian fishermen, the islands were first sighted by British explorers in the early 19th century. American whalers also passed by in the 1850s, exploiting the phosphate deposits on Ashmore Reef. The United Kingdom formally annexed the islands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries before transferring them to Australia in the early 1930s. The islands were later used as a bombing range and, in recent decades, have become marine reserves.


Ashmore and Cartier Islands, governed by Australia, are known for their rich marine life and significance as traditional fishing grounds for Indonesian fishermen. The islands, comprising Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island, are situated between Northwestern Australia and Timor Island. They have been central to maritime boundary discussions and migration-related issues, reflecting their strategic and environmental importance in the region.

Official Name: Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Population: No indigenous inhabitants (July 2021 est.)
Total Area: 5 sq km
Government: Territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government

The Ashmore and Cartier Islands Google Maps

Google Maps provides a detailed view of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, offering insights into their remote location and the surrounding marine environment. The service is an invaluable resource for understanding the geographical context of these islands within Southeast Asia and the broader Indian Ocean region.


The Ashmore and Cartier Islands, located off the northwest coast of Australia in the Indian Ocean, exhibit a typical tropical climate that plays a crucial role in sustaining their rich biodiversity and unique ecosystems:

  1. Stable Tropical Climate: The islands experience a consistently warm, tropical climate throughout the year. The average temperature remains relatively constant, typically ranging from 24°C to 30°C (75°F to 86°F). This stable warmth is conducive to the growth and health of various terrestrial and marine species.
  2. Rainfall Patterns: The region receives moderate to high annual rainfall, primarily influenced by the monsoon season. The wettest months are usually between December and April, coinciding with the Australian monsoon season. This rainfall is critical for maintaining the islands’ freshwater supplies and supporting their vegetation.
  3. Minimal Seasonal Variation: Unlike temperate regions, the Ashmore and Cartier Islands do not experience significant seasonal temperature fluctuations. Instead, the variation is more pronounced regarding rainfall, with a distinct wet and dry season.
  4. Biodiversity and Coral Reefs: The warm, tropical waters surrounding these islands are home to some of the world’s most pristine coral reef systems. These reefs provide a habitat for a diverse array of marine life, including numerous species of coral, fish, sea turtles, and migratory birds.
  5. Protected Marine Area: Under Australian law, the waters around Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island are designated as marine parks. This protection is crucial for preserving their delicate coral ecosystems, which are susceptible to water temperature and quality changes.
  6. Impact of Climate Change: As small, low-lying islands, Ashmore and Cartier are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels and increased ocean temperatures. These changes threaten their ecosystems, particularly the coral reefs, which are sensitive to temperature changes and ocean acidification.
  7. Importance for Research and Conservation: The islands’ unique climatic and ecological conditions make them important sites for scientific research and conservation efforts. Studies conducted here contribute to a broader understanding of tropical ecosystems and the impacts of climate change on coral reefs.

In summary, the tropical climate of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands is a fundamental aspect of their natural environment, supporting a range of biodiverse ecosystems both on land and in the surrounding ocean. With its warm temperatures and seasonal rainfall, this climate is pivotal in maintaining the health of the island’s coral reefs, which are among their most valuable ecological assets.


The Ashmore and Cartier Islands, situated in a strategic location midway between Northwestern Australia and Timor Island, present a unique geographical profile:

  1. Geographical Position: These islands are located in the Indian Ocean, about 320 kilometers off the northwest coast of Australia and approximately 170 kilometers south of the Indonesian island of Rote, which is near Timor Island. Their position places them in proximity to significant maritime routes in the region.
  2. Terrain and Land Features: The islands are characterized by low, flat terrain predominantly made up of sand and coral. This makes them typical examples of oceanic atolls and cays. Cartier Island, the smaller of the two, features the highest elevation at just 5 meters above sea level. The flat nature of these islands makes them vulnerable to rising sea levels.
  3. Total Land Area and Coastline: The total land area of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands is about 5 square kilometers. Despite this small landmass, the islands have a relatively extended coastline of approximately 74.1 kilometers, owing to their atoll structure with multiple islets and extensive coral reefs.
  4. Ashmore Reef: Ashmore Reef, the largest of the two, consists of West, Middle, and East Islands, surrounded by coral reefs. These reefs are significant for their biodiversity and are classified as a Nature Reserve under Australian law.
  5. Cartier Island: Cartier Island is an uninhabited marine reserve. It is smaller and features a lagoon, which is an important habitat for marine life.
  6. Surrounding Regions:
  • Northwestern Australia: The closest major landmass to the southeast is Northwestern Australia, known for its vast deserts and unique ecosystems.
  • Timor Island: To the north, near Timor Island, which is divided between the sovereign states of East Timor and Indonesia.
  • Indonesian Archipelago: Further to the north and west are the many islands of the Indonesian Archipelago, a region rich in biodiversity and cultural diversity.
  1. Ecological Significance: The islands and surrounding marine areas are ecologically significant, hosting diverse marine life, including threatened species such as sea turtles and seabirds. The coral reefs are particularly important for marine research and conservation.
  2. Environmental Concerns: Being low-lying coral islands, they are susceptible to the effects of climate change, especially rising sea levels and increased storm surges. Conservation efforts are crucial to protect their fragile ecosystems.

The Ashmore and Cartier Islands, with their unique location and ecological significance, play an important role in the region’s biodiversity. Their geographical characteristics and proximity to Australia and the Indonesian Archipelago make them key areas for maritime ecology and environmental studies.

Resources and Land Use

The primary natural resource of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands is fish due to the rich marine ecosystems surrounding the reefs and islets. Land use is practically non-existent in agricultural terms, with 0% of the land dedicated to agriculture.

Population Data

There are no indigenous inhabitants on the Ashmore and Cartier Islands. Access to certain parts of the islands is restricted, and Indonesian fishermen are permitted to use specific areas for fishing and accessing fresh water.

Economic Data

The economy of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands is not significant, as there are no permanent settlements or economic activities on the islands. Their value lies primarily in environmental and geopolitical terms.

Drinking Water Source

There is no specific data available on drinking water sources for the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, largely due to the absence of a permanent population.

Population, Median Age, Migration, and Citizenship

There are no permanent residents, so details such as population structure, median age, migration patterns, and citizenship are not applicable.

Average Number of Childbirths

There is no data on childbirths on the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, owing to the lack of a permanent human population.

Is this country a Safe Destination?

Safety concerns for the Ashmore and Cartier Islands primarily revolve around maritime hazards posed by surrounding shoals and reefs. Otherwise, as uninhabited territories, traditional safety concerns related to travel do not apply.

Healthcare and Infectious Diseases

Healthcare services and infectious disease data are irrelevant for the Ashmore and Cartier Islands due to the absence of a resident population.

Natural Hazards

The primary natural hazards in the region are related to maritime navigation, with surrounding shoals and reefs posing potential dangers.

The Flag and Other Symbols

The Ashmore and Cartier Islands do not have their flag or national symbols; the flag of Australia represents them as they are a territory of Australia.


As a territory of Australia, the Ashmore and Cartier Islands are governed by Australian laws, specifically the laws applicable to the Northern Territory, where relevant.

The legal system of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands follows the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia and, where applicable, the laws of the Northern Territory of Australia.

About the Unemployment Rate, Labor Force, and Poverty Line

Unemployment, labor force, and poverty data do not apply to the Ashmore and Cartier Islands due to the lack of permanent human habitation.

About the Budget and Central Government Debt

The budget and government debt are irrelevant metrics for the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, as they are managed as part of the broader Australian federal system.

Inflation Rate and Prime Lending Rate

Inflation rate and prime lending rate data are not pertinent for the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, considering their status as uninhabited territories.

Export/Import Partners and Data

The Ashmore and Cartier Islands do not engage in export or import activities due to their uninhabited status and lack of economic infrastructure.

Renewable Energies Used

There is no specific information on the use of renewable energies on the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, aligning with their status as uninhabited territories.

Telecommunication Data, Calling Code

Telecommunication data and calling codes do not apply to the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, as no permanent settlements or communications infrastructure exists.

Transport Infrastructure

Transport infrastructure is minimal and primarily consists of offshore anchorage. The islands are accessible only by sea, with no ports or terminals on the islands themselves.

More Interesting Facts

The Ashmore and Cartier Islands are ecologically significant, with Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve and Cartier Island Marine Reserve protecting diverse marine life. The islands have also been central to Australia-Indonesia relations, particularly regarding fishing rights and maritime boundaries.

Did You Know?

  1. Uninhabited Territories: The Ashmore and Cartier Islands are uninhabited, making them unique among Australian territories. The only regular human activity comes from visiting scientists, conservationists, and patrol officers.
  2. Important Bird Area: Ashmore Reef is recognized as an Important Bird Area, hosting over 50,000 breeding seabirds, including species like boobies, frigatebirds, and terns, making it a vital site for bird conservation.
  3. Marine Biodiversity Hotspot: The surrounding waters of these islands are teeming with marine life, boasting over 500 species of fish and 255 species of coral. This rich biodiversity makes them crucial for marine ecological studies.
  4. Proximity to Coral Triangle: Located near the Coral Triangle, the global center of marine biodiversity, the islands’ reefs serve as a significant refuge for various marine species and are vital for understanding coral ecosystems.
  5. Historical Shipwrecks: The waters around the islands hold several historical shipwrecks, offering a glimpse into the region’s maritime history and attracting interest from marine archaeologists.
  6. Territorial Dispute: The islands have been the subject of a territorial dispute between Australia and Indonesia, with Australia asserting sovereignty and administering them as an external territory.
  7. Protected Marine Reserves: Both Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island are declared Marine Parks under Australian law, highlighting their environmental significance and the government’s commitment to preserving their natural state.
  8. Seasonal Closure: Ashmore Reef is closed to visitors during the seabird breeding season to protect the sensitive bird populations, showcasing Australia’s dedication to wildlife conservation.
  9. Unique Legal Status: The islands are officially designated as an external territory of Australia but are not part of the migration zone, meaning different legal and administrative rules apply compared to mainland Australia.
  10. Research and Conservation Efforts: The islands play a significant role in regional conservation efforts, particularly in studies related to climate change impacts on coral reefs and marine ecosystems.

These intriguing facts about the Ashmore and Cartier Islands shed light on their ecological importance, historical significance, and the conservation efforts in place to preserve their unique natural environment.

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