Darwin Travel Guide (NT, 800)

1536 km from Alice Springs

Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory and situated on the Timor Sea. Darwin's population of 115,000 makes the city the most populated city in the Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australian capital cities. Darwin city is built on a low bluff overlooking the harbour.Darwin experiences a tropical climate with a wet season and a dry season. It receives heavy rainfall and spectacular lightning during the wet season.Darwin has been rebuilt twice, once due to the Japanese air raids during World War II and the other after Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Darwin is thus one of Australia's most modern capitals.

Darwin is the northern gateway to Australia, and is one of the romantic names associated with Australian history, both past and present. Named after the famous naturalise, Charles Darwin, who visited the area early in the 19th century, the site was selected by George Goyder, Surveyor General of South Australia in 1869. The year 1872 saw the overland telegraph line of 3220 km completed, linking Darwin with Adelaide.

The importance of its geographical situation was borne out during World War II when Darwin became the base for Australian and Allied Forces operating in the South West Pacific war zone.

The town is connected to Alice Springs and Mount Isa by well constructed bitumen sealed roads.

The well equipped aerodrome connects Darwin with the southern states and is the main airport for overseas air services to Australia.

The climate is tropical, the “wet” season commencing during November and the “dry” season during May.

The town possesses one of the finest deepwater harbours in Australia and has been likened, in size, to that of Sydney. The public buildings and utilities are modern and efficient, and the cosmopolitan, tropical atmosphere of the town suggests luxury and ease. For the sightseer there are conducted tours which include visits to numerous attractive beauty spots, including the former army convalescent hospital at Berry Springs, where tropical fruits are plentiful. The town can be made the headquarters for buffalo and crocodile shooting parties. Crocodiles are plentiful on the Adelaide and Daly Rivers and can be seen lazing in the sun on the banks.

Fishing in the rivers is excellent and boating can be enjoyed on the beautiful harbour. The beaches are good and all the year swimming is a feature, although at certain times during the year the jelly fish known as the “Portuguese Man-o-War” infests the coast. The sting from this fish can prove fatal.

The town has been described as “the unfinished capital of an empty land”, but it has attractions for exceeding any other Australian town or city. In the “dry” season Darwin is the ideal Australian holiday resort.

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