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States and Territories of Australia

Australia is divided into six states and ten territories.  Mainland Australia is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth state being the island of Tasmania to the south of the mainland. There are also six other island territories and Australian Antarctic Territory.

Map of the mainland:

Australia locator-MJC coloured

Map of the Island Territories:

Australian External Territories


Ashmore and Cartier Islands Australian Antarctic Territory
Australian Capital Territory Christmas Island
Cocos (Keeling) Islands Coral Sea Islands
Heard Island and McDonald Islands Jervis Bay Territory
New South Wales Norfolk Island
Northern Territory Queensland
South Australia Tasmania
Victoria Western Australia

Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Located out in the Indian Ocean are Ashmore and Cartier Islands – two low-lying, uninhabited tropical islands that would make any postcard shot. They’re sat on the edge of the continental shelf northwest of Australia, which is south of the Indonesian Island of Rote. It consists of reefs, lagoons and no ports or harbours.

Australian Antarctic Territory

The Australian Antarctic Territory will certainly offer unique surroundings for your special day – just don’t forget to bring your coat. As the name suggests, this territory is part of Antarctica. In 1933 the UK settlers claimed it as theirs and made it a part of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory is a self-governing body within the state of New South Wales. It’s where Australia’s capital, Canberra, is located. Australian Capital Territory provides a great scenic lake setting for your wedding.

Christmas Island

A stunning, largely untouched beach holiday destination, Christmas Island is a territory of Australia that’s located out in the Indian Ocean. The large majority of the island is preserved as an Australian national park.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Cocos (Keeling) Islands is an external territory located in the Indian Ocean – about halfway between Australia and Sri Lanka. Consisting of two atolls and 27 coral islands, this territory is a remote holiday destination. Think pristine beaches and clear waters teeming with fish.

Coral Sea Islands

The Coral Sea Islands are a territory of Australia comprising mostly uninhabited tropical islands and reefs. They are located northeast of Queensland and cover over 780,000 km2. The islands are a place of turquoise waters, lush greenery and some of the friendliest people around. Holidays here are all about lying in a hammock and enjoying romantic experiences.

Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Those who don’t mind the cold can opt for something a little different: a snowy wedding on Heard Island and McDonald Islands. These chilly external territories are located in a volcanic group of barren Antarctic islands located between Madagascar and Antarctica. The waters surrounding this sub-Antarctic island group are teeming with sea life.

Jervis Bay Territory

Jervis Bay Territory, which is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia, offers the perfect backdrop for an exotic beach wedding. It’s famed for its white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters that are teeming with fish and dolphins. There are also kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, wombats and many rare birds.

New South Wales

New South Wales is located on the east coast of Australia. If you’re a city person, you can’t go far wrong with a Sydney wedding. Alternatively, you can drive just over an hour from Sydney to get to the rural, sweeping mountain views of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island is a little island located in the Pacific Ocean. It sits between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia and was colonised by the Brits when they settled in Australia. It’s got a lot of scenic, jagged cliffs, pine trees and sandy beaches. If you’re after lush, green surroundings for your special day, Norfolk Island may be for you.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory is home of the famous geological wonder Ayres Rock. It’s also the spiritual home of the Aboriginal community. Visitors will find a lot of local, Aboriginal culture, as well as outdoor activities such as scenic flights, crocodile cruises, fishing chargers, camel rides, overnight walks and waterhole swims.


Queensland, to the north, is warm the year round and famous for its beaches and holiday atmosphere. It's the second largest and third most populated state in Australia.

South Australia

South Australia is located centrally on the south of Australia and is a dry and arid region. It’s the fourth largest state in Australia, and shares its borders with all of the other mainland states.


Tasmania is an island state located 240 kilometres off the south of Australia. It’s part of the Commonwealth of Australia, and is the 26th largest island in the world. It’s commonly shortened to Tas or Tassie. In the winter Tasmania is blanketed in snow.


Located in the southeast of Australia, Victoria is Australia’s second most heavily populated state. It’s also Australia’s most densely populated state. Melbourne is it’s largest city. Victoria can get cold in the winter, even sometimes hailing.

Western Australia

Western Australia is, as the name suggests, to the west. It’s a great destination for a vineyard wedding. The appeal of holding your ceremony in a sprawling estate surrounded by acres of vineyards is undeniable.

Find out more about getting married in Australia in our Australian Wedding Guide or browse our Australian Wedding Directory to start planning your dream wedding.

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