It appears Australia now has it's own domain for Google Maps. Google Maps went live with streets, roads and place names back on May 18th, 2006. Google Maps Mania reader Chris Clarke explains the experience prior to today in his email tipping us off on the new domain: "Australia's had its own street directory for a while now, but you've had to type Australia in your search each time."
Other Google Maps "domains": USA, Canada, UK & Ireland, Netherlands, Japan, China, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Planet Mars, The Moon, Google Maps for Enterprise
New Google Maps Mashups for Australia: