Australia State Map

Explore state map of Australia, Australia is divided into states and territories, which serve as the primary administrative regions of the country. The states have a degree of self-governance and partial sovereignty, though they have transferred certain sovereign rights to the federal government. Each state has its own constitution, legislative body, executive government, judiciary, and law enforcement agencies, which are responsible for implementing and managing most public policies and programs. The territories, while potentially autonomous and capable of managing local policies and programs similarly to the states, are legally under the authority of the federal government.

Australia State Map

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About Australia State Map

Expore this Australia political map showing six states and seven external territories of Australia.

Australian States and Territories

States of Australia

Australia, a vast country known for its diversity, is divided into six states and two territories, each boasting its own unique attractions and characteristics. From the bustling cities to the serene landscapes, Australia's states offer a rich tapestry of experiences for all who visit or call it home. This guide provides an overview of each state and territory, highlighting what makes them special.

New South Wales (NSW)

As Australia's oldest and most populous state, New South Wales is home to the iconic city of Sydney. Famous for the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, NSW offers a mix of vibrant city life, stunning beaches, and the picturesque Blue Mountains. The state is a hub for culture, history, and nature, making it a top destination for visitors.

Victoria (VIC)

Victoria is known for its cultural diversity, stunning landscapes, and the sporting and arts capital of Australia, Melbourne. The Great Ocean Road, with its breathtaking coastal views, and the gold rush heritage towns like Ballarat and Bendigo, add to the state's charm. Victoria's culinary scene, with its laneways and coffee culture, is renowned worldwide.

Queensland (QLD)

Famous for its sunny climate and natural wonders, Queensland hosts the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, and beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Brisbane, the state's capital, offers a relaxed lifestyle with a focus on outdoor living. Queensland is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

South Australia (SA)

South Australia is celebrated for its gourmet food and world-class wine regions, including the Barossa Valley and Clare Valley. Adelaide, known as the "city of churches," blends historic charm with a lively arts scene. The state's rugged Outback and coastal beauty, such as Kangaroo Island, offer unique wildlife encounters and natural wonders.

Western Australia (WA)

Western Australia, the largest state by area, is known for its extraordinary landscapes, from the remote Outback to the pristine beaches of the Coral Coast. Perth, the sun-soaked capital, combines modern and outdoor lifestyles, while the Margaret River region is famous for its surf spots, wineries, and ancient caves.

Tasmania (TAS)

Tasmania, an island state, is renowned for its rugged wilderness, protected within national parks and World Heritage Sites. Hobart, the capital, offers a blend of heritage, arts, and modern culture. Tasmania's unique wildlife, historical sites, and culinary experiences make it a fascinating destination for explorers.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The Australian Capital Territory, home to the nation's capital, Canberra, is the center of government and houses important national institutions like the Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial. The region is also known for its seasonal festivals, national parks, and vibrant arts scene.

Northern Territory (NT)

The Northern Territory boasts some of Australia's most iconic natural attractions, including Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kakadu National Park, and the Katherine Gorge. Darwin, the capital, serves as a gateway to Asia and is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. The NT's vast landscapes and rich Indigenous culture offer a unique Australian experience.

Each state and territory in Australia has its own charm, from bustling cities to breathtaking natural wonders. Whether you're looking to explore urban culture, relax on a beach, adventure in the wilderness, or uncover the history and heritage, Australia has something for everyone.

StateShorthandISO CodeCapitalPopulation (Mar 2020)Area (km²)Seats in House of RepresentativesGovernorPremier
New South WalesNSWAU-NSWSydney8,157,735809,95247Margaret BeazleyGladys Berejiklian (Liberal)
QueenslandQLDAU-QLDBrisbane5,160,0231,851,73630Paul de JerseyAnnastacia Palaszczuk (Labor)
South AustraliaSAAU-SAAdelaide1,767,2471,044,35310Hieu Van LeSteven Marshall (Liberal)
TasmaniaTASAU-TASHobart539,59090,7585Kate WarnerPeter Gutwein (Liberal)
VictoriaVICAU-VICMelbourne6,689,377237,65738Linda DessauDaniel Andrews (Labor)
Western AustraliaWAAU-WAPerth2,656,1562,642,75316Kim BeazleyMark McGowan (Labor)

Internal Territories of Australia

Australia's internal territories hold unique positions within the country's landscape, blending rich history, diverse cultures, and significant political roles. Unlike the states, territories have a different legal status and are directly administered by the Australian Government to varying degrees. Among these, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the Northern Territory (NT) are the most prominent. This overview provides insights into what makes each internal territory distinct and essential to the fabric of Australia.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The Australian Capital Territory, home to Australia's capital city, Canberra, is the political heart of the nation. Established in 1911 to house the newly created capital, the ACT was selected for its location between Sydney and Melbourne, the two largest cities in Australia, to settle a rivalry regarding which city should be the capital.

Key Highlights:

Known for its planned design, Canberra is a city with wide boulevards, large green spaces, and significant cultural institutions like the National Museum of Australia and the Australian War Memorial.
Parliament House
The meeting place of the nation's Parliament, this architectural marvel is open to visitors who wish to learn about Australia's political process.
Outdoor Lifestyle
The ACT is surrounded by natural parks and reserves, offering residents and visitors alike a multitude of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and exploring the Australian bush.

Northern Territory (NT)

The Northern Territory is vast, covering vast deserts, wetlands, and iconic landmarks such as Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kakadu National Park. It's a region rich in Indigenous culture and history, with a landscape that's both harsh and breathtakingly beautiful.

Key Highlights:

This massive sandstone monolith is deeply sacred to the Indigenous Anangu people and is one of Australia's most famous natural landmarks.
As the capital city, Darwin is a gateway to Asia and known for its multicultural makeup, World War II history, tropical climate, and vibrant markets.
Indigenous Culture
The NT has a significant Indigenous population, with numerous opportunities for visitors to engage with Aboriginal culture through art, music, and guided tours of ancient sites.

Jervis Bay Territory

A lesser-known internal territory, Jervis Bay Territory, is a small coastal region known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and national parks. It was created to provide the landlocked ACT with access to the sea.

Key Highlights:

Natural Beauty
Jervis Bay is famed for having some of the whitest sand beaches in the world, such as Hyams Beach, and offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and wildlife watching.
Marine Park
The waters around Jervis Bay are protected as part of the Jervis Bay Marine Park, which is home to a diverse range of marine life, including dolphins, whales, and a variety of fish species.

Importance and Governance

While the internal territories of Australia may not cover as vast an area as the states, their contribution to the country's identity and governance is significant. The Australian Capital Territory, for instance, serves as the locus of national politics and decision-making. The Northern Territory, on the other hand, is a showcase of Australia's natural beauty and Indigenous heritage, drawing tourists from around the globe.

Governance in these territories is a blend of local and federal oversight. The ACT has its own Legislative Assembly with powers similar to those of state governments, whereas the Northern Territory, despite having a Legislative Assembly, remains more directly under federal control. Jervis Bay, being much smaller, is administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

Australia's internal territories are integral to understanding the nation's political structure, cultural diversity, and natural beauty. Each territory, with its unique characteristics and contributions, enriches the Australian landscape, offering residents and visitors a glimpse into the country's soul.

TerritoryPostalISO CodeCapital (or largest settlement)Population (Mar 2020)Area (km²)Seats in House of RepresentativesAdministratorChief Minister
Australian Capital TerritoryACTAU-ACTCanberra429,8342,3583NoneAndrew Barr (Labor)
Jervis Bay TerritoryACT None (Jervis Bay Village)40567(Part of Division of Fenner)NoneNone
Northern TerritoryNTAU-NTDarwin245,3531,419,6302Vicki O'HalloranMichael Gunner (Labor)

External territories of Australia

Australia's reach extends beyond its mainland and internal territories to encompass several external territories, each with its own unique character, history, and environment. These territories, scattered across the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, range from tiny, uninhabited islands to larger, populated areas with their own communities and ways of life. This guide introduces you to the diverse and fascinating external territories of Australia.

Norfolk Island

Located in the Pacific Ocean, Norfolk Island is known for its lush landscapes, unique history, and vibrant community. Originally settled by the British as a penal colony, it later became home to descendants of the Bounty mutineers. Today, Norfolk Island offers a blend of its Polynesian heritage and Australian ties, with its own distinct culture and language.

Key Highlights:

Bounty Folk Museum
Explore the island's history and its connection to the Bounty mutineers.
Stunning Coastlines
Enjoy the breathtaking coastal views, pristine beaches, and clear waters.
Flora and Fauna
The island is home to unique bird species and the iconic Norfolk Island pine.

Christmas Island

Christmas Island, situated in the Indian Ocean, is renowned for its natural wonders, especially its annual red crab migration. The island's diverse ecosystems range from tropical rainforests to coral reefs, making it a haven for nature lovers and scientists.

Key Highlights:

Red Crab Migration
Witness the spectacular migration of millions of red crabs from the island's forests to the sea.
Diving and Snorkeling
The surrounding waters are rich in marine life, offering exceptional diving and snorkeling experiences.
Bird Watching
The island is a critical habitat for several endangered bird species.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands, a coral atoll located in the Indian Ocean, are celebrated for their stunning white-sand beaches and clear turquoise waters. The islands have a small population, primarily living on West Island and Home Island, and offer a peaceful and remote getaway.

Key Highlights:

Water Sports
Ideal for kitesurfing, snorkeling, and diving, thanks to the atoll's vibrant marine life.
Cultural Heritage
Discover the unique Cocos Malay culture on Home Island.
Atoll Environment
Experience the serene beauty of this remote coral atoll.

Australian Antarctic Territory

The Australian Antarctic Territory covers a vast portion of Antarctica and is the largest territory of Australia. While it is uninhabited, it hosts several research stations dedicated to scientific study in fields such as glaciology, meteorology, and marine biology.

Key Highlights:

Research Stations
Learn about the cutting-edge scientific research being conducted.
Stunning Landscapes
The territory boasts awe-inspiring icebergs, glaciers, and unique wildlife, including penguins and seals.

Other External Territories

Australia also administers several smaller, uninhabited islands and territories, including Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Coral Sea Islands, and Heard Island and McDonald Islands. These territories are important for their biodiversity, serving as protected areas for a wide range of marine life and bird species.

Importance of External Territories

Australia's external territories are not just outposts but are integral to the nation's biodiversity, cultural heritage, and scientific research. They offer unparalleled insights into remote living, unique ecosystems, and the challenges of environmental conservation. Governed by Australia, these territories receive support and protection, ensuring their preservation for future generations.

Australia's external territories are treasures of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and scientific interest. Each territory, whether inhabited or not, adds to the richness of Australia's national identity, offering unique stories, landscapes, and experiences.

TerritoryPostalISO CodeCapital (largest settlement)Population (Jun 2018)Area (km²)Seats in House of RepresentativesAdministratorShire President or Mayor
Ashmore and Cartier Islands  None (offshore anchorage)0199-NoneNone
Australian Antarctic Territory AQNone (Davis Station)605,896,500-NoneNone
Christmas IslandWACXFlying Fish Cove1,938135(Part of Division of Lingiari)Natasha GriggsGordon Thompson
Cocos (Keeling) IslandsWACCWest Island54714(Part of Division of Lingiari) Seri Wati Iku
Coral Sea Islands  None (Willis Island)4780,000-NoneNone
Heard Island and McDonald Islands HMNone (Atlas Cove)0372-NoneNone
Norfolk IslandNSWNFKingston1,75835(Part of Division of Bean)Eric HutchinsonRobin Adams (mayor)

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