Initial settlement of Australia saw the colony of New South Wales extend along Australia's east coast and inland to 135 degrees east longitude, covering parts of the current Northern Territory. Through the first half of the 1800s the borders of colonies Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland were defined, with the last shift of Queensland's western boundary occuring in 1862. The territory was annexed to South Australia in 1863, becoming The Northern Territory of South Australia. The responsibility for the territory was transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia in 1911 when it became the Northern Territory of Australia.
The remaining area to the North of South Australia was nominally part of New South Wales, despite no part of it actually touching the colony. The South Australian government laid a claim to the area, and with no other colony seeking responsibility for it, the territory was annexed to South Australia by the British Government in 1863, becoming the Northern Territory of South Australia. The Northern Territory remained under the control of South Australia until responsibility for the territory was transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia in 1911 by the British Government.
1863 - 1911 The Northern Territory of South Australia
1911 - 1927 Northern Territory of Australia
1927 - 1931 Territory of North Australia
1931 - 1978 Northern Territory
1978 - Northern Territory of Australia
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Northern Territory documents', in Documenting a Democracy, National Archives of Australia, 2011, http://www.foundingdocs.gov.au/area-aid-4.html.
Prepared by: Anna Trengove
Created: 9 February 2011, Last modified: 9 January 2019