Its northern coast borders the Timor Sea, Gulf of Carpentaria and the Arafura Sea. It is the third-largest region in Australia. Its harsh, arid inland and tropical north made it difficult for the early Europeans to settle successfully. The establishment of Darwin paved the way for settlement and further exploration of the interior.
Regional Northern Territory
The Northern Territory has two cities: Darwin, the capital, and Palmerston, located 25 kilometres from Darwin. Other important towns include:
- Alice Springs
- Tennant Creek
The Stuart Highway connects these towns. The region is known for its extensive areas of black soil in which Mitchell grass flourishes.
The Northern Territory is sparsely populated, with long distances separating towns.
This region mostly grows beef cattle, with very few dairy cows. The large cattle stations run big herds. The native grasses, however, do not always fully support the cattle and supplements such as hay and mineral supplements are often used. This provides a reliable market for companies producing animal supplements. The annual turnover of cattle is about 600,000 head, with half going for export, especially to South-East Asia. The remainder is consumed domestically. The industry is worth more than $400 million a year. Job creation has also experienced a turn for the better. More than 1800 casual labourers are required to work in the industry. Veterinarians are in constant demand as the need for their expertise increases with the rise in the number of cattle. Cattle growing districts include:
- Top End, which has reliable rainfall between October and April
- Katherine, which produces mainly Brahman cattle, the breed mostly used for live exports
- Barkly Tablelands
The Northern Territory is one of Australia’s most important and extensive mining regions. The government and private industry spent heavily on research and development in 2011. The government has also been very supportive and has partnered with groups such as Regional Development Australia Northern Territory to improve the living standards of its citizens and to capitalise on resources.
Gold finds in the 1800s led to further exploration for gold deposits. While no significant amounts of gold have yet been found, the small deposits that exist are earning some foreign exchange.
The Northern Territory is home to two major national parks:
- Kakadu National Park
- Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage site, is located in the eastern portion of the Northern Territory. It is mainly managed and run by local Aborigines, whose knowledge of the area and its environments is essential to the park’s existence and future. The park provides visitors with the opportunity to meet the traditional owners. At the park you will be treated to uniquely beautiful landscapes and amazing biodiversity.
The traditional owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park have a deep spiritual connection with the spirits of their ancestors. The Anagu people took care of this land for thousands of years. The park is unlike Kakadu National Park, being a much more arid environment.
Although the Northern Territory is not as developed as other places in Australia, it does a great job of providing visitors with good services. The importance of education continues to see significant investments in primary and secondary education.
Stalls, malls and excellent shopping are situated conveniently near residential areas. Rented accommodations is relatively cheap.
Darwin has a reliable bus service that services most of the city. It is a friendly and relaxed town where many people prefer to use bicycles to get around. Bike lanes have been established for safer riding.
The job market is bustling with activity. Growth in the territory has resulted in high demand for skilled and semi-skilled workers. The internet is an excellent resource for job hunters. Jobs in administration, human resources, IT and communications, sales and marketing, hospitality, education and training, and legal are in demand.
The Northern Territory is a delight for tourists and has a diverse and strengthening economy. The mining sector is providing many new job opportunities and the territory’s growth is helping to create jobs in many industries and sectors.