Australian Timbers: Hardwood Species

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Australia is rich in softwood and hardwood species, the latter being one of the most beautiful and durable materials. Australian hardwood timber is strong, making it perfect for architecture, and comes in various tones suitable for every home interior design.

Difference Between Australian Timbers: Hardwood and Softwood

Both hardwood and softwood timber species can be used for construction and decoration. The differences lay in the hardness, colour, and price.

Hardwoods come from deciduous trees, which shed their leaves at the end of autumn (e.g., oak). This happens to preserve water in the trunks through the winter. These trees also grow slower, but they prevail softwoods in densities. Various Australian hardwood timbers are used for furniture, panelling, decking, framing, and many more structural purposes. Hardwood is a long-lasting and robust material. Since it takes a long time to dry up hardwood species, the prices are higher than softwoods.

Softwoods come from conifers and have ‘sharp’ leaves (e.g., fir). These trees grow quicker than hardwoods, and they are much easier to work with. The softwoods usually have lighter colours, too. Similar to hardwoods, softwoods can be used in many applications and purposes: furniture, decking, panelling, etc. Softwoods are of the same quality, but because it is faster to grow them and they are less heavy and strong, the price is lower than hardwood species.

Janka Scale

Janka rating scale defines the hardness of timbers. The hardness is determined by force (kN) required to push an 11.18 mm or 0.444-inch steel ball into the wood. This is how you can know whether your timber is prone to denting. Timber species can be rated by kilonewtons or generally by ‘Very hard’, ‘Hard’, ‘Moderately hard’, and ‘Soft’ categories.

Australian Hardwood Timber Species and Their Application

Here is the list of commonly used hardwood timber species by architects to produce the most durable and gorgeous-looking designs.

Victorian Ash

Victorian Ash is very durable and suitable for interior flooring, decking, and furniture. Sourced from the Australian state of Victoria, Ash is produced from Eucalyptus regnans and Eucalyptus delegatensis. Its colour ranges from pale pink to light brown. It has a coarse texture.

Janka: Moderately hard

Spotted Gum

Sourced from New South Wales and Queensdale, Spotted Gum timber can be used both indoors and outdoors. It is fire-resistant, and also it is a naturally termite-resistant material. Its colours vary from pale brown to chocolate brown. Spotted Gum is commonly used in numerous building applications thanks to its durability: cladding, flooring, decking, framing, etc.

Janka: Very hard


They are sourced from the southwest of Western Australia. Jarrah’s trees grow slowly; thus, the amount of production is limited per year. It has a medium to coarse texture and comes in various gorgeous colours, like pale red that darkens to soft burgundy if exposed to light. Jarrah has exceptional qualities as it is resistant to weather, fire, rot, and termites, making it ideal for outdoor and indoor applications. The popular choice is cladding, flooring, and furniture. Jarrah can also be recycled from old structures and applied as brand new material.

Janka: Hard


Sourced in New South Wales and Queensdale, Australian Blackbutt is ideal for interior and exterior design. It is also fire resistant and has a fine and even texture. Blackbutt’s natural colours range from pale brown, pale pinkish to creamy.

Janka: Very hard


Australian Ironbark comes in two varieties: grey and red. Both are sourced in New South Wales and Queensland. Both are of high quality and can last decades in your household. These timber species are perfect for flooring, framing, cladding, and decking.

Grey Ironbark timber is ideal for indoor and outdoor applications thanks to its solid and lasting hardwood. Due to its denseness, it isn’t easy to work with. It comes in grey shades and red-brown colour.

Red Ironbark is a premium Australian hardwood that is extremely durable. It is also very hard to work with, and some applications require great attention to detail. The colour can vary; it usually is in rich dark red or red-brown.

Janka: Very hard

Cypress Pine

Cypress Pine is sourced in western New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensdale. The timbers are perfect for many applications, including joinery, and they have a fine even texture. Cyprus Pine comes in pale yellow and brown colours. The wood has aromatic resins that act as a natural resistance against termites.

Janka: Moderately hard

Brush Box

Brush Box is the Australian hardwood of fine and even texture that is sourced in New South Wales and Queensdale. It is perfect for furniture and application in and out of the building, including flooring and joinery. It has a pale pink colour, and can be reddish-brown, too.

Janka: Hard

Sydney Blue Gum

Sydney Blue Gum is a resistant to dents Australian timber, ideal for many appliances inside and outside the building. It has a beautiful colour of soft and dark pinkish or red-brown. Sydney Blue Gum timbers are quite popular because they are easy to work with and easy to repair.

Janka: Hard

Forest Red Gum

Forest Red Gum Australian timbers are sourced in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensdale. They have a rich burgundy colour that perfectly suits outdoor design. The timbers are very durable and long-lasting.

Janka: Very hard

Tasmanian Oak

The last Australian timber on the list is Tasmanian Oak. This material is perfect for many appliances for home design. Tasmanian Oak has a red-brown or cream pink colour. This type of Australian timber is also sourced in New South Wales and Victoria, and it can grow up to 90m in height.

Janka: Moderately hard

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