Awesome and remote Outback landscape
Untamed and beautiful, Australia’s Northern Territory is truly a holiday destination with a difference. This vast state, equivalent in area to France, Spain and Italy combined, is a wonderland of dramatic landscapes with natural treasures from lost valleys to meteorite craters, and hot springs to thunderous waterfalls.
Most visitors travel to the Northern Territory for a glimpse of the iconic Uluru & Red Centre in the southern desert region, but this immense area also encompasses the verdant, tropical north, home to the awesome Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, the spectacular Katherine Gorge, and Darwin – a cosmopolitan city with a rich Aboriginal culture.
Darwin & the Northern Territories of Australia
By: Kate Cooper
Over time Darwin has grown from a pioneer outpost to one of the most vibrant and multicultural cities in Oz. The original inhabitants of Darwin are the Larrakia people , and in 1839 HMS Beagle sailed into the harbour whilst surveying the area. John Clements Whickham named the area Port Darwin after a fellow shipmate, famed scientist Charles Darwin (known for the theory of evolution).Having been almost entirely rebuilt twice, once due to Japanese air raids during the second world war, and once in 1974 when it was devastated by cyclone Tracy, Darwin is one of Australia’s newest capitals.Darwin has 3 of the worlds largest national parks Kakadu, Litchfield and Nitmiluk also known as Katherine Gorge. The Katherine River and Edith falls and local surrounding areas hold great ceremonial significance to the Jawoyn people, who are the custodians to the area. Katherine gorge is made up of 13 gorges, rapids and falls which follow the Katherine river all the way from Kakadu. During the dry season (April to October ) the Katherine gorge waters are placid making it ideal for canoeing and swimming but I would strongly recommend not swimming as the waters are rife with freshwater crocodiles (not that they’re as dangerous as Estuarine or as they’re more commonly known Saltwater Crocodiles!). Boat tours, canoeing and white water rafting trips can be booked in Darwin through most travel agents or through Darwins backpackers hostel’s.Darwin is also known for its abundance of dangerous animals from king brown snakes to red back spiders but the infamous salt water crocodile is probably the most fierce and common you’ll come across. (A German backpacker was killed a few years back after swimming in an area where saltwater crocodiles were known to inhabit.) 40 minutes out of Darwin city centre you can visit crocodile farms which are a much safer way of seeing one in the flesh, which have been producing skins and meats to make luxury items such as handbags, shoes for many years.Darwin is also known for its consumption of “Amber Nectar”, this is very much true if you head down Mitchell street where you will find numerous clubs and bars serving the coldest beer (during the 40 degree heat). Also Mitchell street has lots of backpacker hostels making each night a party night.Darwin and the Northern Territitory climate is broken down into 2 seasons. Being in the tropics (close to the Equator) October to April is known as the wet season. Temperatures will get up to 40 degrees in the wet season and that doesn’t include the humidity factor, between April and October it reaches highs of 35 degrees with little humidity.If you want to experience real grass roots Australia then Darwin is the place to do it from the red sand outback to vast aridness found on the flat long stretches of highway then the Northern Territories has it all.
About the Author
Kate has worked for Nomads Backpackers Hostels in New Zealand for the last 4 years, and currently carries out duties for it’s other backpackers hostels in Australia and Fiji.
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