Photo by Thomas Schoch (Wikimedia Commons)

Darwin, Alice Springs & NT

Northern TerritoryNorthern Territory

Popular Places: Darwin, Alice Springs, Kakadu National Park, Uluru, Kings Canyon, Katherine Gorge, Arnhem Land.

  • This territory is huge and sparsely populated, spans desert and tropics and lies just underneath Asia.
  • The majority of this region is classed as Outback and stations, which are huge farms or ranches (some of these stations are bigger than countries!)
  • The northern part is known as the “Top End” to Australians, and only has two tropical seasons – wet and dry. Darwin is located in the top end and is the capital of N.T.
  • Darwin is a very relaxed city, although hasn’t always been so laid back. In fact, it’s been destroyed and rebuilt twice! It was bombed by the Japanese during WWII and then succumbed to a powerful cyclone on Christmas Day, 1974. Because of this, it’s now the most modern city in Australia.
  • West of Darwin is the world-renowned 3.2 million-acre Kakadu National Park, famous for its stunning scenery full of waterfalls, crocodiles and mangroves, as well as its sacred Aboriginal sites – there are more paintings on rocks and cave walls here than anywhere else in Australia.
  • Head south and you’ll get to Alice Springs, N.T’s second-largest city. It’s a modern Outback city with an old-world charm, surrounded by desert and the McDonnell Ranges. People call this area of Australia the Red Centre because of the colour of the sand, which is occasionally broken up by white salt from dried-up salt lakes. There’s a huge amount of wildlife around here – you’re likely to see kangaroos, emus, snakes and maybe a goanna (a huge lizard).
  • In the south of the region, almost perfectly in the centre of Australia is Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock), arguably the country’s most famous landmark. The huge sandstone monolith is about half a day’s drive from Alice Springs.
  • Continue south and you’ll end up in South Australia, west and you’ll be back in W.A., and to the east is Queensland. North of N.T is the Arafura Sea and the nearest land from there is Indonesia.

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