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Northern Territory: from the ocean to the heart of Australia

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The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, located in the central-northern part of the country. The capital is the city of Darwin, a port city with 130,000 inhabitants, located along the Indian ocean.

This Australian territory has an area of 1,420,970 square kilometers, and is the third largest state in Australia. Its population (245,000 inhabitants in 2019) represents only 1% of Australia’s total population. The Northern Territory is bordered by Western Australia to the west, South Australia to the south and Queensland to the east. The most important cities in this Australian region are Darwin, located along the north coast, and Alice Springs, which is instead located in the interior of the country.


The coast of the Northern Territory extends along the Indian Ocean and in correspondence with the Arnhem Land it is jagged and rich in peninsulas and islands. While it becomes marshy along the Gulf of Carpentaria. Much of the Northern Territory is flat, but to the south are the mountains of the MacDonnell Ranges where it is the highest point of the territory, Mount Zeil (1,531 meters).

In the northern part of the territory the rains allow the growth of tropical vegetation and here the rivers are numerous. But all rivers are short in length. South of Arnhem Land the territory becomes drier. Here there are some desert areas such as those of the Tanami Desert, while in the southeastern corner of the state is the Simpson Desert.

The main economic activity of the region is mining, where oil, iron, natural gas, uranium and bauxite are extracted. Breeding is another important activity. So is tourism. This is thanks to the pristine national parks present in the tropical north, such as the Kakadu National Park. But also for the famous parks in the south of the state. The best known of which are the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, where are located Ayers Rock (Uluru) and Mount Olga (Kata Tjuta), and Watarrka National Park, famous for Kings Canyon.

The climate of the Northern Territory.

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