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North'n Territory
Introduction

NT Identity
Distances

1. Ayers Rock/Uluru
2. Darwin

Northern Territory, the Outback State.

The Northern Territory, 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.

Windmill

It 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.

Population of almost 190,000. The 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.

CLIMATE
There are two seasons in the Territory, tropical summer, November to April, and tropical winter, May to October.
Summer is hot with high humidity, 23 to 34 degrees Celsius. The average maximum for December/January is 35 degrees Celsius. Overnight average is around 20 degrees. Winter, with low humidity, is 20 to 33 degrees Celsius. The average maximum for June/July is 25 degrees Celsius. Overnight temperatures in winter can go down to zero.
Rainfall averages 1570mm a year in the far north to less than 150mm in the south. During the wet season the coast is subject to tropical cyclones (hurricanes or typhoons).
The dry season, between May and October, is a good time to visit. In the wet season it rains mainly in the afternoon and overnight.

CLOTHING
Cotton clothing, or natural fibres, are more comfortable for the warmer climate.
Casual clothing is all that is required for the Northern Territory, neat and tidy for restaurants and hotels.
Shady hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellent.
Sturdy walking shoes if you plan to include a walk or climb.

Don't swim

SWIMMING
Crocodiles are found in fresh water and salt water. NEVER swim or wade where warning signs are displayed.
Crocodiles do not give you a second chance!

SAFETY
A shade hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellent are also recommended.
Beware of where you swim, only swim in recommended areas. Look for signs.
Always drink lots of water. Carry plenty of water while walking, climbing, cycling or driving.

SACRED LAND AND SITE PERMITS
When visiting or travelling through Aboriginal Land a permit must first be obtained. They are not issued for general tourist purposes. For more information about Indigenous Australia click here.

DRIVING
Check if a four wheel drive vehicle is recommended if you plan to leave the main roads.
The Stuart Highway and all roads in Alice Springs are sealed.

GETTING THERE

AIR: an international airport at Darwin, 13 km from the city centre. A regular shuttle bus service is available. For more detailed information visit the Qantas, or Virgin Airlines website.
SEA: A large port at Darwin for International Cruise Ships.
RAIL: The main rail service is from Adelaide,"The Ghan".
ROAD: Three main highways service the Northern Territory, the Stuart Highway from Darwin to Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney; the Barkly Highway east to Mount Isa; and the Victoria Highway, west to Perth.
COACH: McCafferty's Coaches or Greyhound Pioneer Australia.

CREDIT CARDS
All major credit cards are widely accepted.

ACCOMMODATION
A wide range of accommodation standards are available, whether it be camping, lodge, budget, deluxe or superior high class hotels.

ATTRACTIONS
Travel from Darwin to Alice Springs via the Stuart Highway and experience the numerous unique attractions:

DARWIN
Population of over 87,000.
The city was destroyed by Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Eve 1974, but it has been rebuilt into a modern city.
Aboriginal Art

KAKADU NATIONAL PARK Part of Arhhem Land, about a 3 hour drive east of Darwin, world heritage listed in 1984.
See ancient Aboriginal art in caves and on rocks.

KATHERINE
310 km from Darwin, a township in an area known as the Never Never, immortalized in the book "We of the Never Never" by Mrs Aeneas Gunn, an early pioneer wife.
Swim in the natural hot springs of Mataranka, 106 km south of Katherine.
A cruise through Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk) is a must.

ARNHEM LAND
Primeval, ancient landscape. This area has been home to many different Aboriginal tribes for thousands of years.
Devil's Marbles

TENNANT CREEK
A thriving community of 3,700 people.
Situated in the third richest goldfield of Australia.
102 km south, visit the mystical Devils Marbles, gigantic granite boulders. According to Aboriginal mythology, they are the 'Eggs of the Rainbow Serpent'.

THE RED CENTRE
For 30,000 years the Aboriginal people have lived here. There are places and objects that hold special significance for them. Visitors are welcome but respect should be shown for these sites.
Aboriginal guides will share stories from Dreamtime and their culture.
Alice Springs

ALICE SPRINGS
In the middle of Australia, with a population of almost 37,000, this is the Territory's second largest population centre.
Explore the historic Old Telegraph Station, built in the 1870s, it played a key role in Australia's development in communication, the School of the Air and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Alice Springs provides easy access to all the surrounding natural wonders:

AYERS ROCK (ULURU)

440 kms from Alice Springs. See the spectacular colour changes at sunrise or sunset. Take the challenge and climb The Rock.

THE OLGAS
Mt Olga/Kata Tjuta, a series of giant majestic domes, 50 kms west of Ayers Rock Resort.

KINGS CANYON
344 kms north of Alice Springs.
Take the 6km walk to the rim of the Canyon and look down the 300 metre drop to the valley floor.

    ...for more information on the Northern Territory



Recommended...

cover
Lonely Planet Northern Territory (2nd Ed)

cover
Aboriginal Art (The World of Art)