Darwin is located in the upper half of the Northern Territory, a land isolated from the rest of the nation by thousands of miles of harsh desert. This is Crocodile Dundee country, with Darwin its frontier town. A land of extremes, it is marked by two seasons: wet and dry, or rather drought and deluge. The latter is also a characteristic of its residents; the average person is said to consume some 60 gallons of beer a year.

The city was named after the naturalist Charles Darwin who stopped here on his historic voyage aboard the M.S. Beagle. Darwin city played an important part in World War II as a major Allied military base and endured numerous Japanese bombing attacks. In December of 1974, the city was leveled by a series of ferocious cyclones including Tracy, which demolished nearly 60 percent of its buildings. Today downtown Darwin is a collection of modern office blocks and public buildings, a booming mini-metropolis with a large Asian and Aboriginal population, presenting the most racially diverse mix in Australia.

Visitors enjoy fine beaches and good art galleries. Local color can be experienced in numerous pubs that reflect the rough days when Darwin was a frontier town. The city also provides an ideal base from which to explore the crocodile-filled wetlands and the spectacular Kakadu World Heritage Park.




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