Very small particles in the air affect how far we can see into the distance. The more particles there are, the lower the visibility. You might notice this on smoky days when you can’t see landmarks in the distance.

We measure visibility at some of our monitoring sites.

How to assess air quality and health risks

What causes low visibility

Visibility gets lower when it's:

Visibility on EPA AirWatch

We show visibility on EPA AirWatch as a distance in kilometres.

A low value means there are lots of small particles in the air and there is low visibility.

A high value (maximum of 70 km) means particle levels are low and visibility is good.

We don’t use air quality categories to display visibility data.

Current air quality standard for visibility

We report on visibility data every year. We do this by comparing our data to the State Environment Protection Policy (SEPP – Ambient Air Quality).

 Standard Averaging time

Minimum visible distance – 20 km (equivalent to a visibility reduction index of 2.35)

 1 hour

Read more about air quality

Air pollution

Carbon monoxide in the air

Nitrogen dioxide in the air

Ozone in the air

PM10 particles in the air

PM2.5 particles in the air



Sulfur dioxide in the air

Vehicle emissions and air quality

Wood smoke and air quality

Clean air and future air quality

Reviewed 1 September 2020