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A Brief History Of .AU Domains

It's been more than 30 years since Australia's .AU web address was born. Here's a very brief look at the history of what has become a very important part of Australian business, government and just about any other sector you can think of.

The .AU country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) was originally allocated by the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) to a computer programmer at Melbourne University in 1986.

The IANA is a global body controlling numbers for protocols, the country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) and maintains IP Address allotments. An IP address is a set of unique numbers assigned to each device connecting to the Internet, or can be a location on a particular device - such as a web site on a server.

Melbourne University's Robert Elz created the original policies for .AU and was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Australian namespace - and he did so on a voluntary basis for a number of years.

By 1996, domain names were growing in popularity and the task of maintaining the registry had grown to a point Mr. Elz decided to hand over operations to a commercial arm of the University. 

Meanwhile, the 1990s also saw the creation of a self-regulatory body within the Australian Internet industry originally called the Australian Domain Name Administration, or ADNA. After some internal struggles, it was reformed and renamed to .au Domain Administration (auDA) and ultimately took over operating the .au Top Level Domain in 2001.

It wasn't an easy transition as the .AU namespace had become somewhat fractured and .AU domain names were being maintained in an old and rather insecure system.

In 2001, the auDA called a tender for the implementation of a secure and streamlined registry system for 5 key .au registries -,,, and

AusRegistry was the successful bidder and remained the Registry Operator after winning a second four year period and a series of extensions of its .AU registry license agreement, including managing the restricted Australian government ( and education names ( 

However, in December 2017, auDA announced Afilias Australia Pty Ltd had been appointed to provide registry services for the .au domain from 1 July 2018 as part of auDA’s Registry Transformation Project.

Among its tasks, Afilia runs the .AU WHOIS servers that enable registration details of Australian web site addresses to be searched, and it also operates the .AU primary name server.

As was the case with AusRegistry, Afilias doesn't provide registration services for Australian domains - that service is performed by a registrar or reseller.

The number of Australian domain registrations has grown from around 270,000 in 2002 to more than 3.1 million in 2018.

Given the registration guidelines associated with registering .AU names, Australian domains continue to enjoy a very high degree of trust and credibility among Australians. There are still many good AU domain names available, so start your search today.

Available Domain Name Search & Register


How to register a name: Enter your choice in the search tool and click 'GO'. If after the check the domain names search results show your choice is available, you will then have the option to proceed to purchase registration; which is a very quick and easy process - start a search and find your ideal website address now.