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 Northern Territory

Click for Darwin, Northern Territory Forecast

 The Northern Territory is a large territory that goes from near the Equator right into the heart of the continent. As the name says, it is not an Australian State, having the status of territory, but it works in reality as a State with its own laws and rules. The top of the Northern Territory is very tropical and humid, while the centre is desert and dry. The Northern Territory has one of the smallest population densities in Australia with Darwin being its' biggest city. The region has also kept a large Aboriginal culture, with immense historical and cultural value, besides many monuments, craters, caves, gorges and the biggest monoliths in the world. Apart from Western Australia, the Northern Territory is one of the most isolated regions in Australia, but things are changing, with many Australians and foreign tourists discovering unbelievable beauties that have been for a long time unknown. It is like the last frontier on earth. Day after day, really incredible places are becoming more accessible. You can't miss it. 

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Darwin is the main city and was almost completely destroyed during the horrific Cyclone Tracy on the 25th of December,1974 (Christmas day). The winds gusted up to 280 km per hour, and flattened half of the city's buildings and houses. People died and the bill amounted to around 200 million dollars. Despite this tremendous disaster, Darwin quickly came back to life again, with the whole city involved in its rebuilding. Today, Darwin is a progressive and modern town, with a fantastic cultural diversity, despite the odds. The city was also attacked 64 times. The weather in Darwin is very hot and humid, with tropical storms occurring mostly in the monsoon season. The sea, is beautiful with very clear water, but can be dangerous at certain times of the year such as the Box Jellyfish season from November to May. Salt water crocodiles are another danger in the region, and please, ask the locals and the authorities about the dangers, before adventuring into unknown water. Fishing is something extraordinary in this region and Barramundi is the King of all fish. It has a very white flesh and the taste is absolutely divine. The city of Darwin, has plenty to do, with lot of restaurants, cafes and entertainment. Transport is cheap and easy to all suburbs. There's plenty of accommodation for all budgets, all of them with great quality and that special smile that Northern Territorians are well known for. There are daily flights to and from most major Australian cities. 

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One of the attractions not too far from Darwin is Kakadu National Park (Photo). Kakadu has abundant wildlife, and many rivers with very suggestive names as: South Alligator River, West Alligator River, and also the famous East Alligator River. Alligators aside, it is important to understand the meaning of this wild region. The park also has beautiful rock formations. The Aboriginals who have inhabited this region for more than 40 thousand years, are still a strong presence in the area. It is possible to learn from them about plants and natural medicines used by their ancestors. Also you can see how they deal with giant salt water crocs. The fauna & flora of the region is unique to Australia and the World. The Ubirr Rock, has many Aboriginal paintings that tell a story of long ago times, including floods, life style, and how the tribe moved to higher lands and caves to escape from floods. Many natural caves can be found in Kakadu National Park. 

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Driving South along the Stuart Highway, the first place that can't also be missed is the Nitmiluk National Park (photo). The Park is accessed from the town of Katherine and it is formed by low altitude gorges with many natural pools. It is an oasis in the middle of arid land, and boasts an area around 10 km long. It has beautiful waterfalls and plenty of refreshment areas. If you are up to it, there are boats and canoes for hire. There are camping areas and a map explaining all trails for great walks. From Katherine driving South, you will find the road getting drier and drier until you will be driving along one of the 6 Australian deserts. Tennant Creek, is a good place to refill and to stay overnight before you reach the Tanami Desert, and Simpson Desert on your way to Alice Springs.

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The town of Alice Springs, has a very good tourist structure and plenty of things to do. It is also a great place to spend a couple of days to rest from all the time spent on the road; or stay for a week in one of the luxury resorts in the middle of the desert. Alice Springs is also the departure point for some of the most fantastic sights in Australia. Not only can it be reached by road, but the city also has an airport receiving flights from many Australian cities. A very great way to see the Outback is by Balloon. The pespective and the beauty of the area and is something difficult to explain in a few words. The silence and absence of any noise is another attraction to see the outback from above.

The region has great rock formations such as Chambers Pillars, in the Simpson Desert (photo). The landscape is really "Lunar" especially in the early hours of the morning before first light reaches these huge rocks. As the time passes, the coloration starts to change, and you have an enormous amount of colours on display all in the one day. When the sun sets, the rocks change into grey until night time when they turn completely dark. It is possible from the car park to climb till the base of the mountain but no easy to climb it except for very expirienced climbers.

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Passing through Alice Springs, South-west on the Lasseter Highway , there other very important monuments. All of them are sacred to the Aboriginals and they attract zillions of tourists every year. The first one is Kata Tjuta also known as The Olgas (photo). The Olgas are about 545 meters high and have a rounded shape. There is a trail that goes around the rock where you can find a good place for a picnic. Nearby, there is a fantastic place called Valley of the Kings which is the most impressive. The Olgas, Ayers Rock, and Chambers Pillars all have the same colour phenomenon happening with equal intensity. The most interesting about the colours is how it changes along the day from a bright yellow to a dark purple, passing by a glowing red.

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Uluru or Ayers Rock, is considered to be the largest loose rock on the face of the Earth. The Rock and the place has a very deep meaning for the Aboriginal people and today, they officially own the place. To visit this Park you will need a couple of days, because the number of trails, caves, and things to see takes a long time. In this picture Uluru looks small, but when you stand in front of it, the first feeling is of admiration. However, summer time is not the ideal time to visit Uluru. The sun is very strong and the heat very dangerous, easily reaching 40 degrees Celsius. Take plenty of water, and if you decide to climb it, remember it is only for very fit people, and many deaths has occurred in the past, not only from people falling, but also from heart attacks.

More about the Northern Territory...

Big John decided to have a photo sitting on the top of the Termite House and fell inside... 

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