Portal:Northern Territory

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The NORTHERN TERRITORY PORTAL

Introduction

Northern Territory in Australia.svg

The Northern Territory (abbreviated as NT) is a federal Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia. 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, including Western New Guinea and other Indonesian islands. Despite its large area—covering 1,349,129 square kilometres (520,902 sq mi), making it the third largest Australian federal division, and the 11th largest country subdivision in the world—it is sparsely populated. The Northern Territory's population of 244,000 (2016) makes it the least populous of Australia's eight major states and territories, having fewer than half as many people as Tasmania.

The archaeological 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. 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. After three failed attempts to establish a settlement (1824–1828, 1838–1849, and 1864–66), success was achieved in 1869 with the establishment of a settlement at Port Darwin. 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.

Selected article

Photograph of Darwin and the damage caused by Cyclone Tracy in 1974
Cyclone Tracy was a tropical cyclone that devastated the city of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, 1974. It was the most compact tropical cyclone on record, with gale-force winds extending only 48 km (30 mi) from the centre. After forming over the Arafura Sea, the storm moved upward and affected the city with Category 4 winds on the Australian cyclone intensity scale and the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale, although there is evidence to suggest that it had reached Category 5 when it made landfall.

Tracy killed 71 people, caused $837 million in damage (1974 AUD) and destroyed more than 70 percent of Darwin's buildings. Tracy left homeless more than 20,000 out of the 49,000 inhabitants of the city prior to landfall and required the evacuation of over 30,000 people. Most of Darwin's population was evacuated to Adelaide, Whyalla, Alice Springs and Sydney, and many never returned to the city. After the storm passed, the city was rebuilt using more modern materials and updated building techniques. Bruce Stannard of The Age stated that Cyclone Tracy was a "disaster of the first magnitude ... without parallel in Australia's history."

Selected picture

Florence Falls, Litchfield National Park
Credit: Christian Vasold

Litchfield National Park, covering approximately 1,500 square kilometres (580 sq mi), is near the township of Batchelor, 100 kilometres (60 mi) south-west of Darwin, in the Northern Territory of Australia. Each year the park attracts over 260,000 visitors who come to enjoy the crystal clear waterfalls which cascade from a sandstone plateau called the Tabletop Range, the idyllic year-round swimming areas, the intriguing magnetic termite mounds, and the bushwalking tracks. Proclaimed a national park in 1986, it is named after Fred Litchfiel, a Territory pioneer, who explored areas of the Northern Territory from Escape Cliffs on the Timor Sea to the Daly River in 1864.

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