The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the centre of the mainland continent, as well as the central northern regions. It shares borders with Western Australia to the west (129th meridian east), South Australia to the south (26th parallel south), and Queensland to the east (138th meridian east). To the north, the territory is bordered by the Timor Sea, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Despite its large area—over 1,349,129 square kilometres (520,902 sq mi), making it the third largest Australian federal division—it is sparsely populated. With a population of 229,675 it is the least populous of Australia’s eight major states and territories. The archeological history of the Northern Territory begins over 40,000 years ago when Indigenous Australians settled the region. Makassan traders began trading with the indigenous people of the Northern Territory for trepang from at least the 18th century onwards, and very likely for 300 years prior to that.
The coast of the territory was first seen by Europeans in the 17th century. The British were the first Europeans to attempt to settle the coastal regions in the 19th century; however no attempt was successful until the establishment of a settlement at Port Darwin in 1869. Today the economy is based on tourism, especially Kakadu National Park in the Top End and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (Ayers Rock) in central Australia, and mining. The capital city is Darwin. The population is not concentrated in coastal regions but rather along the Stuart Highway. The other major settlements are (in order of size) Alice Springs, Katherine, Nhulunbuy, and Tennant Creek. Residents of the Northern Territory are often known simply as ‘Territorians’.
Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs; 450 km (280 mi) by road.Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Ulu?u-Kata Tju?a National Park. Uluru is sacred to the A?angu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves andancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site.
Alice Springs is the second largest town (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a city) in the Northern Territory of Australia. Popularly known as “the Alice” or simply “Alice”, Alice Springs is situated in the geographic centre of Australia near the southern border of the Northern Territory. The site is known as Mparntwe to its original inhabitants, the Arrernte, who have lived in the Central Australian desert in and around what is now Alice Springs for thousands of years.
Palm Valley, within the Finke Gorge National Park, is an east-west running valley in the Krichauff Range 123 km (138 km by road) southwest of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Australia. Palm Valley and the surrounding area is the only place in Central Australia where Livistona mariae palms (also known as Red Cabbage Palms) survive. The nearest specimens are 850 kilometres away in Queensland. The valley is indicative of central Australia’s tropical past, whereas the region is now largely dry Central Ranges xeric shrubland.
Ubirr is located in the East Alligator region of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia, and is famous for its rock art. It consists of a group of rock outcrops on the edge of the Nadab floodplain where there are several natural shelters that have a collection of Aboriginal rock paintings, some of which are many thousands of years old. The art depicts certain creation ancestors as well as animals from the area such as barramundi, catfish, mullet, goannas, long-necked turtles, pig-nosed turtles, rock ringtail possums, and wallabies.
The Alligator Rivers is the name of a region in the Arnhem Land region of the Northern Territory of Australia, containing three rivers the East, West and South Alligator River. It is regarded as one of the richest biological regions in Australia with part of the region in the Kakadu National Park, and is an Important Bird Area (IBA) lying to the east of the Adelaide and Mary River Floodplains IBA. It also contains mineral deposits especially uranium with the Ranger Uranium Minelocated there.
The Darwin Military Museum
The Darwin Military Museum was originally established as an artillery museum by the Royal Australian Artillery Association (NT) Inc (RAAA) to exhibit photographs and artefacts from Darwin’s history during World War II. The Museum now has a large exhibits of items from the war, including Navy, Army and Air Force items from Australian, US and other armed forces.
Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve
The area is located near Wauchope, approximately 114 km south of Tennant Creek, in the Northern Territory. The site is known as Karlu Karlu to the land’s Aboriginal traditional owners. The ‘Devils Marbles’ or ‘Karlu Karlu’ with its gigantic, rounded granite boulders, some spectacularly poised, is a remarkable landscape. Scattered clusters of these ‘marbles’, including many balancing rocks, are spread across a wide, shallow valley. The Devils Marbles is a nationally and internationally recognised symbol of Australia’s outback.
Nitmiluk National Park
Nitmiluk National Park is in the Northern Territory of Australia, 244 km southeast of Darwin, around a series of gorges on the Katherine River and Edith Falls. Previously named Katherine Gorge National Park, its northern edge borders Kakadu National Park. The gorges and the surrounding landscape have great ceremonial significance to the local Jawoyn people, who are custodians of Nitmiluk National Park. InJawoyn, Nitmiluk means “place of the cicada dreaming“.
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