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Northern Territory: from the Indian Ocean to the desert heart of Australia

The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, located in the north-central part of the country, the capital is the city of Darwin (population 130,000), a port situated along the Indian Ocean.

This Australian territory has an area 1,420,970 km square, which is the third per dimension of the Australian states, its population (233,000 in 2012) represents only 1% of the total population of Australia. The Northern Territory is bordered to the west by Western Australia, to the south by South Australia and to the eastby Queensland. The most important cities are Darwin and Alice Springs.

The coastline along the Indian Ocean is rugged and full of peninsulas and islands at the Arnhem Land, as it becomes marshy along the Gulf of Carpentaria. Most of the land is flat, but to the south lie the mountains of the MacDonnell Ranges where is the highest point of the area, the Mount Zeil (1,531 meters).

To the north the rains allow the growth of tropical vegetation and there are many rivers, all short-length, south of the Arnhem Land, the region becomes drier, here is the Tanami Desert, while in the southeastern corner of the state is the Simpson Desert.

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

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