Northern Territory (NT)

Northern Territory overview

Northern Territory largest cities:
Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherins, Tennant Creek.

Total area: 1,335,742 sq. km.
Population: 193,000 (2004)
Approximate width west to east: 950 km
Approximate height, north to south: 1500km
Highest point: Mt. Gillen (MacDonnell Ranges)

Northern Territory is the essence of the Australian Outback. It comprises almost one-sixth of Australia's land mass and can be divided into two areas, the Top End and the Red Centre. It is bordered at the north by the Timor Sea, to the east by Queensland, to the west by Western Australia and to the south by South Australia.

Northern Territory is six times the size of Great Britain, two and a half times the size of Texas. From lush green tropical rainforest among the savannah woodlands at the Top End, spectacular waterfalls, and billabongs, to the dry and arid landscapes of the Red Centre, and the Simpson Desert.

Northern Territory is under the administration of the Australian Government. The administrative centre and main port is at Darwin, the capital of the Territory, on the north west coast.

Northern Territory origin of name

From 1863 to 1911 this area was the Northern Territory of South Australia.

Northern Territory history

Northern Territory history began when the First Fleet, commissioned by Thomas Townshend, Baron Sydney, set sail for Botany Bay on May 13, 1787, led by Captain Arthur Phillip. They arrived at Botany Bay on the 18th of January, where upon anchoring, it was discovered there was no fresh water locally available.

It was decided to go further north, to Port Jackson (now also known as Sydney Harbour). There they found a lush, pristine forest in a cove fed by a stream, where it was decided they would settle. A formal flag raising ceremony was held by Arthur Phillip on the shore to proclaim the Colony of New South Wales, in the name of the King of England on the 26th of January, 1788.

Captain Arthur Phillip named the cove where his party landed "Sydney Cove", in honor of Thomas Townshend, Baron Sydney. Later usage of the name dropped 'Cove' and the area became known as Sydney.

Northern Territory economy

Useful links:

Northern Territory Government of Australia website | rank: 6/10
The entry point to the Northern Territory government services.
ABC NT | rank: 7/10
ABC nt is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's local and regional online site in nt, Australia. We bring you informative, innovative content that
Chamber Of Commerce Northern Territory | rank: 4/10
The Northern Territory's largest employer organisation, representing approximately 1500 businesses throughout the Northern Territory.

Northern Territory education

Useful links:

Chemistry, Northern Territory University | rank: 4/10
Provides details of staff, research and degree courses. Also includes general information on chemistry and chemistry-related links.
Northern Territory Schools | rank: 4/10
Web directory of NT schools.
Education in the Northern Territory | rank: 6/10
Education in the Northern Territory. The Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) aims to continually improve education outcomes for all

Northern Territory culture

Useful links:

DCDSCA | rank: 6/10
Northern Territory Library

Northern Territory main attractions

  • Mt Olga National Park
  • The Ghan(train from Adelaide to Alice Springs)
  • Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock)
  • Bathurst & Melville Islands
  • Kakadu National Park
  • Mataranka thermal ponds
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Kings Canyon
  • Standley Chasm
  • Devil's Marbles
  • Katherine Gorge

Litchfield National Park (Within two hours drive of Darwin), a popular area offering multiple walks, swimming holes, picnic areas and other natural attractions. There are also camping grounds so you can enjoy a longer stay and explore the whole park.

Kakadu National Park. Covering almost 200,000 square kms (making it about the same size as Denmark or Ireland), this park is world famous for the almost unbelievable beauty of its scenery, and the amazing variety of wildlife it supports.

Uluru National Park (also known as Ayers Rock) which is world-famous for its size and majesty, and the spectacular Olgas and Kings Canyon, all of which offer landscapes and sights that make the travel worthwhile.

Useful links:

Northern Territory Visitors Centre | rank: 5/10
The Northern Territory Visitors Centre leaders in travel bookings and itinerary management. Our expert team can assist you with great value packages for all
Northern Territory Travel - Northern Territory Official Travel Site | rank: 6/10
Northern Territory Tourist Commission's official travel guide to attractions, tours, accommodation, and events.
Northern Territory Tourist Commission | rank: 6/10
Official government site. Information for the tourist industry, links to holiday sites, news and products.
Northern Territory, Top End and Red Centre | rank: 5/10
Ultimate travel guide and reservations centre for Darwin, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock accommodation, attractions, tours and car rental.
Northern Territory Airports Pty. Ltd. | rank: 5/10
International facility at the northern tip of Australia. Lists security information, charges, parking, airport history, regional guide, shopping,

Northern Territory capital

Northern Territory capital is Darwin situated in the Top End. It is the entry point to the attractions of the Top End and offers city entertainment such as outdoor markets, pubs, bars, shops and restaurants.

Darwin is Australia's most northern capital, relaxed, multicultural, modern and visitor friendly. Exploring the city can involve a visit to the Wharf Precinct, The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Aquascene, where people can handfeed fish at high tide. Dine at the sophisticated Cullen Bay Marina, or walk through the Darwin Botanic Gardens. Darwin's military past during World War II is displayed at the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre and the East Point Military Museum.

See the wildlife at the Territory Wildlife Park, Darwin Crocodile Farm and Crocodylus Park. Around Darwin and in various other locations in the territory are natural outdoor hotsprings.

Northern Territory aborigens

Forty thousand years ago, long before the Pharaonic age of Egypt, the Aboriginal people lived in Australia. Their culture has given this country of treasure, art, and folklore a period known as the "Dreamtime". According to the "Dreamtime" legends, the country was once a vast feature-less land inhabited by giant spirit creatures. Over time, the spirits made epic journeys across the land, creating mountains, rivers, rocks, animals and plants.

The easiest place to see Aboriginal culture is the Northern Territory, which has by far the greater number of sacred sites and ancient art. The most famous sacred site is Ayers Rock, known by the Aborigines as "Uluru". At the nearby Yulara resort, guides and displays explain features of the region. From Alice Springs you can take tours which show how the local landmarks relate to the "Dreamtime" legends and the skills used by the Aborigines for thousands of years to live in the Outback.

Traditional paintings, carvings, weaving, boomerangs and shields are on display at museums and galleries in every capital city.