What Are the Six States and Two Territories of Australia?

The country of Australia consists of six states and two on-shore territories: Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. In addition, there are also the mainland Jervis Bay Territory, six island territories and the Australian Antarctic Territory that comprises 42 percent of the continent of Antarctica.

There is some debate as to whether Australia technically has two or three internal territories. The reason for this is that the Jervis Bay Territory, which New South Wales gave up to the Australian commonwealth government in 1915, was long administered as if it were part of the Australian Capital Territory instead of being its own autonomous territory.

The external island territories that Australia continues to manage are the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos Islands, Herd and McDonald Islands and Norfolk Island. Of these, only three, Christmas Island, the Cocos Islands and Norfolk Island, are inhabited and as such have a form of government. Norfolk Island is the only one of the external colonies that is self-governing and, as such, is entitled to have a member in the lower house of Australian parliament.

Australia also has one former territory, the Territory of Papua and New Guinea, which ended when Papua New Guinea became an independent country in 1975.