List of Australian capital cities

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There are eight capital cities in Australia, all of which function at a sub-national level. Melbourne was the national capital of the Federation of Australia from 1901 until 1927, when the seat of national government was moved to the newly created city of Canberra which currently serves as the national capital.

In each capital city, local judicial, administrative and legislative duties are performed for the jurisdiction. In the case of state and territory capital cities, they also happen to be the most populous city in their respective jurisdiction. The Australian external territory of Norfolk Island also has an official capital, Kingston, however, this is just where the administrative centre of government is located; the de facto capital is Burnt Pine.[1]

State and Territory Capitals of Australia
Jurisdiction Capital City Population State/Territory Population[2] Date of statehood Capital since Image
Australia and
Australian Capital Territory
Canberra* 381,488 1911 1913
View of Civic from Mount Ainslie, with Telstra Tower in the background
New South Wales Sydney 4,757,083 7,410,399 1788 1788
Victoria Melbourne 4,347,955 5,739,341 1851 1851
The Melbourne skyline on the Yarra River
Queensland Brisbane 2,238,394 4,656,803 1859 1860
Brisbane's CBD, with the Story Bridge in the foreground
Western Australia Perth 1,972,358 2,519,321 1829 1829
View of Perth CBD from the air
South Australia Adelaide 1,291,666 1,670,827 1842 1856
View of the Riverside Precinct from Elder Park.
Tasmania Hobart 217,973 513,159 1825 1826
View of the Hobart downtown district and Mount Wellington from Constitution Dock
Northern Territory Darwin 136,245 240,759 Has not attained Statehood** 1911
View of Darwin CBD

* While Canberra is the capital of Australia, it is not the capital of the ACT in any official sense; it is the principal settlement within the territory and can be considered analogous with the ACT. ** in 1911, South Australia transferred responsibility for governing the Northern Territory to the Commonwealth Government of Australia. It was granted self-governance in 1978, however the Northern Territory is still considered a territory, not a state, under Commonwealth rule.