home

welcome to daz down under, photography and adventures in darwin N.T, kakadu and litchfield

 

 

Northern Territory

Northern Territory
alt text for flag alt text for coat of arms
Flag Coat of arms
Slogan or nickname The Territory, The NT, The Top End
Map of Australia with the Northern Territory highlighted
Other Australian states and territories
Coordinates 20°S 133°ECoordinates: 20°S 133°E
Capital city Darwin
Demonym Territorian
Government Constitutional monarchy
 – Administrator Sally Thomas
 – Chief Minister Adam Giles (CLP)
Australian territory
 – Established by NSW 1825
 – Transferred to South Australia 1862
 – Transferred to Commonwealth 1911
 – Dissolved 1927
 – Reformed 1931
 – Responsible government 1978
Area
 – Total 1,420,970 km² (3rd)
548,640 sq mi
 – Land 1,349,129 km²
520,902 sq mi
 – Water 71,839 km² (5.06%)
27,737 sq mi
Population
(31 March 2012)[1]
 – Population 233,300 (8th)
 – Density 0.17/km² (8th)
0.4 /sq mi
Elevation
 – Highest point Mount Zeil
1,531 m (5,023 ft)
Gross territorial product
(2010–11)
 – Product ($m) $16,281[2] (8th)
 – Product per capita $70,961 (3rd)
Time zone(s) UTC+9:30 (ACST)
(does not observe DST)
Federal representation
 – House seats 2/150
 – Senate seats 2/76
Abbreviations
 – Postal NT
 – ISO 3166-2 AU-NT
Emblems
 – Floral Sturt’s Desert Rose
(Gossypium sturtianum)[3]
 – Animal Red kangaroo
(Macropus rufus)
 – Bird Wedge-tailed Eagle
(Aquila audax)
 – Colours Black, white, and ochre[4]
Website www.nt.gov.au

 

Northern Territory (abbreviated as NT) is a federal Australian territory in the centre and 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 233,300 it is the least populous of Australia’s eight major states and territories, having fewer than half as many people as Tasmania.[1]

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, 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) Palmerston, Alice Springs, Katherine, Nhulunbuy, and Tennant Creek.

Residents of the Northern Territory are often known simply as ‘Territorians’, or more informally as ‘Top Enders’ and ‘Centralians’.

Geography

Northern Territory towns, settlements and road network.

The northern coast of Australia is on the left with Melville Island in the lower right.[11]

There are many very small settlements scattered across the territory, but the larger population centres are located on the single paved road that links Darwin to southern Australia, the Stuart Highway, known to locals simply as “the track”.

The Northern Territory is also home to two spectacular natural rock formations, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), which are sacred to the local Aboriginal peoples and which have become major tourist attractions.

In the northern part of the territory lies Kakadu National Park, which features breathtaking wetlands and native wildlife. To the north of that lies the Arafura Sea, and to the east lies Arnhem Land, whose regional centre is Maningrida on the Liverpool River delta. There is an extensive series of river systems in the Northern Territory. These rivers include: theAlligator Rivers, Daly River, Finke River, McArthur River, Roper River, Todd River and Victoria River.

National parks

Climate

Satellite image of fire activity in central Australia.

Average monthly maximum
temperature in Northern Territory
Month Darwin Alice Springs
January 31.8 °C 36.3 °C
February 31.4 °C 35.1 °C
March 31.9 °C 32.7 °C
April 32.7 °C 28.2 °C
May 32.0 °C 23.0 °C
June 30.6 °C 19.8 °C
July 30.5 °C 19.7 °C
August 31.3 °C 22.6 °C
September 32.5 °C 27.1 °C
October 33.2 °C 30.9 °C
November 33.2 °C 33.7 °C
December 32.6 °C 35.4 °C
Source: Bureau of Meteorology

The Northern Territory has two distinctive climate zones.

The northern end, including Darwin, has a tropical climate with high humidity and two seasons, the wet (October to April) and dry season (May to September). During the dry season nearly every day is warm and sunny, and afternoon humidity averages around 30%. There is very little rainfall between May and September. In the coolest months of June and July, the daily minimum temperature may dip as low as 14 °C (57 °F), but very rarely lower, and frost has never been recorded.

The wet season is associated with tropical cyclones and monsoon rains. The majority of rainfall occurs between December and March (the southern hemisphere summer), when thunderstorms are common and afternoon relative humidity averages over 70% during the wettest months. On average more than 1,570 mm (62 in) of rain falls in the north. Rainfall is highest in north-west coastal areas, where rainfall averages from 1,800–2,100mm (72–84 in).

The central region is the desert centre of the country, which includes Alice Springs and Ayers Rock, and is semi-arid with little rain usually falling during the hottest months from October to March. Central Australia receives less than 250 mm (9.8 in) of rain per year.

The highest temperature recorded in the territory was 48.3 °C (118.9 °F) at Finke on 1 and 2 January 1960. The lowest temperature was −7.5 °C (18.5 °F) at Alice Springs on 12 July 1976.[12]

Demographics

Estimated resident population since 1981

Population estimates
for the Northern Territory
1901 4,765
1956 19,556
1961 44,481
1974 102,924
1976 97,090
1981 122,616
1991 165,493
1996 181,843
2002 200,019
2006 192,900
2011 211,945
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
(Est Resident Pop)

Darwin skyline from East Point

The population of the Northern Territory at the 2011 Australian census was 211,945.,[14] a 10 per cent increase from the 2006 census. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated a resident population of 233,300 in March 2012, taking into account residents overseas or interstate. The Territory’s population represents 1% of the total population of Australia.[1][15]

Children wave Australian flags during an Anzac Day parade in Palmerston

The Northern Territory’s population is the youngest in Australia and has the largest proportion (23.2%) under 15 years of age and the smallest proportion (5.7%) aged 65 and over. The median age of residents of the Northern Territory is 31 years, six years younger than the national median age.[14]

More than 100 nationalities are represented in the Northern Territory’s population, including more than 50 organisations representing different ethnic groups.[16]

The 2006 Census revealed that of the Northern Territory’s population, 68.4% is ofEuropean descent. 64,491 (30.6%) English with 44,662 (20.2%), Irish with 14,346 (6.8%),Scottish with 11,759 (5.6%), German with 7,729 (3.7%) and Italian with 3,308 (1.5%).Indigenous Australian people make up 32.5% of the Northern Territory’s population, whileChinese people with 4,081 make up (1.9%).

Indigenous Australians own some 49% of the land. The life expectancy of Aboriginal Australians is well below that of non-Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, a fact that is mirrored elsewhere in Australia. ABS statistics suggest that Indigenous Australians die about 11 years earlier than the average Australian. There are Aboriginal communities in many parts of the territory, the largest ones being the Pitjantjatjara near Uluru, the Arrernte near Alice Springs, the Luritja between those two, the Warlpiri further north, and the Yolngu in eastern Arnhem Land.

In terms of birthplace, according to the 2011 census 25.4% of the population were born overseas.[14] 2.5% of Territorians were born in England, 1.9% in New Zealand, 1.7% in Philippines, 0.9% in India and 0.5% in the United States.

More than 54% of Territorians live in Darwin, located in the territory’s north (Top End). Less than half of the territory’s population live in the rural Northern Territory.

Rank Statistical Division/District 2008–2009 Population[17]
1 Darwin 124,760
2 Palmerston 30,005
3 Alice Springs 27,877
4 Katherine 10,095
5 Nhulunbuy 5,001
6 Tennant Creek 3,558
7 Wadeye 2,394
8 Jabiru 1,327
9 Yulara 1,205

Economy[edit]

The Northern Territory’s economy is largely driven by mining, which is concentrated on energy producing minerals, petroleum and energy and contributes around $2.5 billion to the gross state product and employs over 4,600 people. Mining accounts for 26 per cent of the gross state product in 2006–2007 compared to just 7 per cent nationally.[21]

The economy has continued to grow during the 2005–2006 financial year from the past two financial years. Between 2003 and 2006 the gross state product had risen from $8,670 million to $11,476 million and increase of 32.4 per cent. During the three years to 2006–2007 the Northern Territory gross state product grew by an average annual rate of 5.5 per cent.[22] Gross state product per capita in the Northern Territory ($72,496) is higher than any Australian state or territory, and is also higher than the gross domestic product per capita for Australia ($54,606). This can be attributed to the recent mining and resources boom.

The Northern Territory’s exports were up 19 per cent during 2005–2006. The largest contributor to the territory’s exports was: petroleum and natural gas (33.4%), iron-ore (20.0%), other manufacturing (5.9 per cent) and agriculture (4.9%). Imports to the Northern Territory totalled $2,887.8 million which consisted of mainly machinery and equipment manufacturing (58.4%) and petroleum, coal, chemical and associated product manufacturing (17.0%).[23]

The principal mining operations are bauxite at Gove Peninsula where the production is estimated to increase 52.1% to $254 million in 2007–08, Manganese at Groote Eylandt, production is estimated to increase 10.5% to $1.1 billion which will be helped by the newly developed mines include Bootu Creek and Frances Creek, Gold which is estimated to increase 21.7 per cent to $672 million at the Union Reefs plant and Uranium at Ranger Uranium Mine.[24]

Tourism is one of the major industries on the Northern Territory. Iconic destinations such as Uluru and Kakadu make the Northern Territory a popular destination for domestic and international travellers. Diverse landscapes, “spectacular’ waterfalls, wide open spaces, aboriginal culture, wild and untamed wildlife, all create a unique opportunity for the visitor to immerse themselves in the natural wonder that the Northern Territory offers. Images of Uluru (Ayers Rock) are recognised around the world ensuring that Tourism in the Northern Territory will remain a vital component of its future. In 2005–06, 1.38 million people visited the Northern Territory. They stayed for 9.2 million nights and spent over $1.5 billion.

The territory is also known for being promoted with the slogan “You’ll Never Never Know if You Never Never Go”. This was implemented as a result of the Kennedy Review in 1992.

Transport

The Lasseter Highway connectsUluru (Ayers Rock) to the Stuart Highway.

The Ghan, which runs across the Territory from north to south, in Alice Springs.

The Northern Territory is the most sparsely populated state or territory in Australia. From its establishment in 1869 the Port of Darwin was the major Territory supply for many decades. It was damaged in the 1942 Japanese air raids and subsequently restored. In the late 1960s improved roads in adjoining States linking with the Territory, port delays and rapid economic development led to uncertainty in port and regional infrastructure development. As a result of the Commission of Enquiry established by the Administrator,[25] port working arrangements were changed, berth investment deferred and a port masterplan prepared.[26] Extension of rail transport was then not considered because of low freight volumes.

Despite its sparse population there is a network of sealed roads, including two National Highways, linking with adjoining States and connecting the major Territory population centres, and some other centres such as Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. The Stuart Highway, known as “The Track”, runs north to south, connecting Darwin and Alice Springs to Adelaide. Some of the sealed roads are single lane bitumen. Many unsealed (dirt) roads connect the more remote settlements.

The Adelaide–Darwin railway, a new standard gauge railway, connects Adelaide via Alice Springs with Darwin, replacing earlier narrow gauge railways which had a gap between Alice Springs and Birdum.

The Northern Territory is one of the few remaining places in the world with no speed restrictions on public roads. On 1 January 2007 a default speed limit of 110 km/h was introduced on roads outside of urban areas (Inside urban areas of 40, 50 or 60 km/h). Speeds of up to 130 km/h are permitted on some major highways, such as the Stuart Highway.[27] On 1 February 2014, the speed limit was removed on a 204 km portion of the Stuart Highway for a one-year trial period.[28]

Darwin International Airport is the major domestic and international airport for the territory. Several smaller airports are also scattered throughout the Territory and are served by smaller airlines; including Alice Springs Airport, Ayers Rock Airport, Katherine Airport and Tennant Creek Airport.

Media

Print

The Northern Territory has only one daily tabloid newspaper, News Corporation‘s Northern Territory News; the Centralian Advocate is circulated around the Alice Springs region twice a week. There is a Sunday tabloid newspaper, The Sunday Territorian. There are also five weekly community newspapers. The Territory receives the national daily, The Australian, while the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age are also available in Darwin. Katherine’s paper is the Katherine Times.

Television

Metropolitan Darwin has had five broadcast television stations:

Darwin also has a single open-narrowcast station:

Regional Northern Territory has a similar availability of stations:

Remote areas are generally required to receive television via the Viewer Access Satellite Television service, which carries the same channels as the regional areas, as well as some extra open-narrowcast services, including Indigenous Community Television, Rural Health Channel and Westlink

Radio

Darwin has radio stations on both AM and FM frequencies. ABC stations include ABC NewsRadio (102.5FM), 105.7 ABC Darwin (8DDD 105.7FM), ABC Radio National (657AM),ABC Classic FM (107.3FM) and Triple J (103.3FM). The 2 commercial stations are: Mix 104.9 (8MIX), Hot 100 (8HOT)

The leading community stations are 104.1 Territory FM and Radio Larrakia (8KNB).

The radio stations in Alice Springs are also broadcast on the AM and FM frequencies. ABC stations include Triple J (94.9FM), ABC Classic FM (97.9FM), 783 ABC Alice Springs(783AM) and ABC Radio National (99.7FM). There are two community stations in the town–CAAMA (100.5FM) and 8CCC (102.1FM). The commercial stations, which are both owned by the same company are Sun 96.9 (96.9FM) and 8HA (900AM). Two additional stations, Territory FM (98.7FM) and Radio TAB (95.9FM) are syndicated from Darwin and Brisbane respectively.

 

 

 

Photography & Adventures in the top end