Jervis Bay was the site of the worst peacetime disaster in Australian maritime history - the collision between the destroyer HMAS Voyager and aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne in 1964.
The Jervis Bay Territory (JBT) is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. It was surrendered by the state of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1915 so the federal capital at Canberra would have access to the sea. It is administered as if it were part of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), although it has always been a separate Commonwealth territory. The laws of the ACT apply to the Jervis Bay Territory, and is counted as part of the ACT for the purpose of the ACT's representation in the Senate.
Jervis Bay Territory is 65.7 km2 of land and 8.9 km2 marine reserve, and is the smallest of all the mainland states and territories of Australia. Jervis Bay is a natural harbour opening to the east onto the Pacific Ocean. The bay is situated about 198 km south of the city of Sydney. There are three small lakes within the territory, Lake Windermere - the largest, Lake Mckenzie and Blacks Waterhole. Bowen Island, at the entrance to the bay has rookeries for the little penguin Eudyptula minor.
There are two small towns in the Jervis Bay Territory, Jervis Bay Village & Wreck Bay Village.
The park was designated sacred Aboriginal land in 1995. There is an Aboriginal community at Wreck Bay in the Booderee National Park. A large area of the bay's northern coast and headland, from the Beecroft Peninsula to the Point Perpendicular, is a gun bombardment range for the Royal Australian Navy.