Australia's Northern Territory (NT) has a lot to bloody offer, mate. You want to see
natural attractions like Kings Canyon or Uluru (Ayers Rock) or the McDonnell Ranges? Or
see magical towns like Darwin and Alice Springs? Get your ass over here, y'hear?
"Culture in the Northern
Territory amounts to changing your underwear on a daily basis. If
you want high culture, visit Sydney or Melbourne. If you
want natural attractions, including the sleazy backpacker type, come to
the Northern Territory."
The Northern Territory is not a state of Australia. There was
a referendum held in 1998, and the Territorians rejected the idea.
As a territory and not a state, the Northern Territory gets no senators
in the parliament in Canberra. Big deal. Hardly anyone lives
in the Northern Territory anyway -- only 220,000, with over half of that
total in the capital, Darwin.
Hardly anyone might live there, but that didn't stop two Australian
states from wanting a piece of it. From 1825 to 1863, the Northern
Territory was part of New South Wales. After 1863, New South
Wales ditched it, and South Australia took control until 1911.
For once, no
reminder the place was once British
No one knew what the hell to do with this area. In
1846, for ten months, the area plus much of present day
Queensland had a go as North Australia. It tanked.
In 1927, a second run at North Australia was launched, a
much smaller version that consisted of just the northern
half of the present-day Northern Territory. The
southern half was called, brilliantly, Central Australia.
That experiment also bit the dust. Then, they floated
the idea of leasing out parts of the Northern Territory as a
Jewish homeland. The Jews balked: where was a beach?
Plenty of people love the sound of the words "North
Australia" and don't want to let the name die,
vowing to call the place North Australia if the Territory
ever gets statehood.
then, the territory looked a little different,
What sets the Northern Territory apart from the other states of
Australia, besides it not being a state, is the Aboriginals. The
Northern Territory does not contain the largest number of
Aboriginals. That distinction
belongs to New South Wales, with Queensland having an almost equal
number. But the Aboriginals are more noticeable in the Northern
Territory, because 1 in 3 people here are Aboriginal, and the
Aboriginals own 49% of the Northern Territory's land.
The Northern Territory's towns are nothing to write home about.
Darwin, the capital, could probably fit into
the parking lot at Disneyworld. You don't visit the Northern
Territory to check out its towns. You go for its natural
attractions, which are among the most famous attractions to be found in
Australia or, indeed, the world. Attractions like
Ayers Rock (Uluru),
Kings Canyon, and the
national parks of Kakadu and
Litchfield, bring in the tourists and
tourist dollars. These attractions are like nothing you'd see
in other parts of the world.
Backpackers adore the Northern Territory. With little
cash for their own vehicle, they book a multitude of tours to take them
to all the key attractions on the cheap. At the same time, they
undertake, with their fellow travel companions and at no extra charge,
some of the sleaziest pickups to be had on the entire continent.
The bars of Melanka Backpackers "Resort" and Bojangles are filled with
an endless supply of drunken and near-broke backpackers either starting
or ending a tour and 9 out of 10 eager and willing to pair up with a
drunken partner for a night of fun. If over 30, consider bringing
an iPod and watching your favorite movies on it instead.
The Northern Territory should not be missed. You don't come
all the way to Australia only to lie on a beach or do face time at a
chic Sydney bar. You could do those activities in your own
country or a country closer to home. If time is on your
side, allot at least 2 weeks to bask in the wonder of the Northern
Territory. Doug spent 5 weeks here, one week of that time
spent trapped in Alice Springs while his
totaled second car was assessed and he planned his next move.
You'd do well to heed his advice apart from wrecking your vehicle.
Australia's Northern Territory (NT) boasts it all, baby.
You'll love places like Kings Canyon, Uluru (Ayers Rock), and the East McDonnell Ranges and the West
McDonnell Ranges. Want to rock it hard, you'll go to Darwin or Alice Springs.