New .au Australian domains launching

From 24 March 2022, auDA (the Australian Domain Administration) is launching the direct .au domain extension, which means you can have a domain like

What does this mean for you?

If you already own an Australian domain, you need to consider whether you should get the .au version as well.

Current Australian domain owners will have the ability to register for Priority Status on the .au domain.

For example, if you own you will be able to apply for (without the com).

From 24th March, 2022, you can register direct .au domains. So if you have you will be able to apply for

Why register your .au Domain

The main reason to register the direct .au is to protect your brand and business name.

If you have an established website under your then I would simply redirect your new .au domain to it. This way we don’t affect your existing brand or your SEO and you can then use both domains.

It is short and sweet and can be a good option for using on social media and mobile devices where space is a premium.

Another reason is simply vanity. It looks kinda cool.

If you wanted to use it as your main domain and replace your for example, this takes serious thought and planning. The reason is the new domain name is an entirely different entity to search engines like Google. So we would have to plan out how to do this changeover while limiting any short term negative SEO impact on your website.

I am starting a new website, should I get the .au or the

If you can, I would recommend getting both. At most registrars, the .au should cost the same to register as the So while this will double your cost, it could be money well spent to cover your brand. You should pay around $15-$20 per year for a or .au domain.

You can then decide which you want to use as your main domain (for your website and email) and then redirect the other one to it.

It really is up to personal preference as to which you want to use as your main domain, though if you have a long business name I would go with the shorter .au.

Having both versions will limit any confusion people might have. For example, if you verbally tell someone your domain is and they think, “wait shouldn’t that be” because that is the domain extension we are accustomed to, then you are covered.

How to get your direct .au domain

From 24 March 2022, existing owners of Australian domains (such as and will have the first rights to register the new .au version of their exact match domain.

You can check your domain by going to the Priority Status Tool.

If there is more than one owner of an exact match domain (the same name, different domain extension), then the Priority system will apply.

Here’s how the priority system works:

You’re the only domain owner

If no one else owns the same name as your domain with a different extension, then you will have the option to register for Priority Status and will then be given the option to register the domain.

Someone else also has the exact match name with a different extension

For example:

  • Tessa owns
  • Dash owns

This is where the priority system kicks in.

  • You are Priority 1 if you registered your domain before 4 February 2018.
  • You are Priority 2 if you registered your domain after 4 February 2018 and before 24 March 2022.

Priority 1 vs Priority 2

With the example, if Tessa was in Priority 1 and Dash was Priority 2, then Tessa would have the first right to register

If Tessa decided to decline registration then Dash would then have the option. If both decline then the domain is available for anyone to register after 20 September 2022 (you have 6 months to decide if you want to apply for or decline the Priority Hold).

Priority 2 vs Priority 2

If Tessa and Dash are both in Priority 2, then the first right to register goes to the owner who registered at the earliest date (between 4 February 2018 and 24 March 2022).

Priority 1 vs Priority 1

If both Tessa and Dash are deemed priority 1, this is where things get a bit trickier.

If Tessa applies and Dash declines, then Tessa can register the domain.

If Tessa applies and Dash does nothing and it lapses past 20 September 2022, Tessa will be able to register the domain.

If Tessa and Dash both apply for the domain, they need to negotiate between themselves as to who will get the domain, and who will decline.

When you apply for the Priority Status, you do so for 1 year and have to renew this status every year until the domain is registered or you choose to let it lapse.

There is No Priority Status

If a domain is not currently registered with any extensions, you can register the .au version from March 24.

If the owner/s of any current domains don’t apply for Priority Status then the domain will be available for anyone to register after 20 September 2022. example of .au Australian domain

.au Domain FAQ

Here are some of the common questions I have received about the new direct .au domains.

I have the, how is this different?

Until now, the domain extension has been the main domain for businesses in Australia. The new direct .au domain is a whole new domain extension.

The direct .au domain is simply just .au after a domain name, there is no com or net or org. An example of a direct .au domain would be which has the domain name word, pavlova, followed directly by the extension, .au.

Do I need to get the .au version of my domain?

Simple answer, no.

If you don’t want to use the .au you do not have to buy it. It is totally up to you if you want the domain.

However, if you are concerned that someone else may register the .au exact match of your domain to run a similar business I would suggest that you do.

If I want the .au domain, do I need to apply on 24 March 2022?

No. You have 6 months, until 20 September 2022, to apply for Priority Status.

If I want to get the .au of my domain, do I need to apply for Priority Status even if no one else has the exact match domain with any Australian extension?

Yes, you do. If you don’t apply for Priority Status before 20 September 2022, the domain will be available for anyone to register on a first-come, first-served basis after this date.

If I apply for Priority Status do I have to register the domain?

No, you don’t. Applying for Priority Status only grants you the right to register the domain but does not mean that you have to. If you decide you no longer want the domain, you can choose to “decline”.

What is an exact match domain?

You may see this term mentioned, and it simply means the same name with a different extension.

For example, is the exact match of

Do I need to register the domain at the same registrar that has my original domain?

No. When Priority Status applications open on 24 March 2022, you will be able to apply for Priority Status through any auDA (Australian Domain Administration) accredited registrar.

This way you can choose a registrar that offers a good price, especially if you want to hold the domain for the future.

If you want recommendations for domain registrars please get in touch.

Can I change my website to use my .au domain?

Yes, but there is a lot to consider and plan if you want to do this.

Moving your existing site to any new domain is essentially launching a brand new website in the eyes of Google. If we were to do this we would want to have a strong strategy in place, including notifying Google of the change (through Search Console) and redirecting all existing pages to the new ones so that your visitors can still find you from old links, shares or search results. While doing all of this is best practice and can help, it does not guarantee that you won’t receive a short term negative impact on your SEO or traffic.

Can I forward my .au domain to my existing domain?

Yes, you can. At a basic level, most domain registrars will offer domain forwarding in the DNS settings.

If you are a client of mine and on my hosting or website care, I can use Cloudflare to handle the redirection.

What about email?

The simplest thing to do is email forwarding or routing, and a lot of domain registrars offer this in the DNS settings or as a service.

If using Cloudflare to handle your domain forwarding, they have a new email routing service.

If you want to change your whole email over, just like with your website, there are things to consider so it’s best to have a chat.

How much does a .au domain cost?

The price of .au domains will vary depending on the domain registrar, as they can set their own prices above the wholesale price.

In general, the .au domains should cost about the same as domains.

Can I register a different name as a new .au?

Yes, you can, but there are some conditions.

From 24 March 2022, you can register any new .au domain that no one else has a claim to (i.e. no one else has the exact match domain with any Australian domain extension).

From 20 September 2022, you can register any .au domain that already has an exact match but that does not have any Priority Status applications.

What are the current Australian domain extensions?,,,, are the main domain extensions, but there are also domains available to government, educational and religious organisations like and edu. au,, etc.

If you are unsure how the .au domain launch will affect you or need some help working out the best plan of action, get in touch today.

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