THE NORTHERN TERRITORY is a federal territory of Australia. Darwin is the capital city; the other two sizable settlements are Alice Springs (in the desert interior, 1,500 km (930 miles) to the south) and Katherine (near the base of the Top End). Residents are often known simply as ‘Territorians’.
There are many very small settlements scattered across the Territory but the larger population centres are located on the single sealed road that links Darwin to southern Australia, the Stuart Highway. Tourism is one of the major industries of the NT, which is home to two spectacular natural rock formations, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), which are sacred to the local Aboriginal peoples. They have become major tourist attractions, images of which are recognised the world over, ensuring that tourism in the NT will remain a vital component of its future.
Also well-known in the northern part of the territory lies Kakadu National Park, which features breathtaking wetlands and native wildlife. To the north of that lies the Arafura Sea, and to the east lies Arnhem Land, whose regional centre is Maningrida on the Liverpool River delta. There are a large number of other National Parks (protected areas) within the Territory. The major rivers include: the Alligator, Daly, Finke, McArthur, Roper, Todd, and Victoria River, which flows for 560km (348 miles) until it enters Joseph Bonaparte Gulf in the Timor Sea.
Diverse landscapes, spectacular waterfalls, wide open spaces, aboriginal culture, wild and untamed wildlife, all create a unique opportunity for the visitor to immerse themselves in the natural wonder that the Northern Territory offers. Darwin is usually the first port of call for superyachts arriving in Australia from Asia, or the final one when departing to Asia. It is also an ideal base from which to cruise the Kimberley region in Western Australia as well as Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
Captain’s log: Northern Territory – The Adventure Gateway