Darwin is the capital city of Australia's Northern Territory. The city is located right on the Timor Sea and is the largest city in the entire Northern Territory region. The city is located in close proximity to South East Asia and is hence regarded as a very important gateway to countries like East Timor and Indonesia from Australia. The Stuart Highway starts at Darwin and ends at South Australia's Port Augusta. The city looks out onto the beautiful harbor and the suburbs stretch for a considerable distance right from Lee Point to Berrimah in addition to the Palmerston satellite city. Darwin is home to a tropical climate and is prone to cyclonic activity during the rainy season. Heavy rainfall is experienced in Darwin throughout the year and the gentle sea breezes from the harbor are the delight of residents.
The Larrakia people are the major inhabitants of the greater Darwin area. The HMS Beagle first ventured into the Darwin harbor in the year 1839. The region was named Port Darwin by John Clements Wickham as a tribute to his previous shipmate Charles Darwin who had travelled with him on the ship's earlier voyage. The entire settlement was then known as Palmerston town from 1869 onwards and was renamed as Darwin in the year 1911. The city has been completely redeveloped and rebuilt twice on account of the Cyclone Tracy in the year 1947 and the Japanese air strikes during the Second World War. The city is surrounded by Cullen Bay and Frances Bay and is mainly low lying. Many prominent coastal areas in Darwin are home to multiple recreational reserves, fishing dens and lovely beaches. Darwin is also known as a prominent access point for Arnhem Land, Kakadu National Park and other islands like the Tiwi Islands and the Groote Eylandt and this makes it one of the top tourist destinations in Australia for adventure seekers.
The city is also home to several big and unpolluted beaches including the rather gorgeous Casuarina Beach and the lovely Mindil Beach which also houses the iconic Mindil Beach Markets that draw locals and tourists in droves every time. The Casuarina Beach has been listed as an entirely free beach by the Darwin City Council and there is even a specified nudist area present at the beach since the year 1976. Darwin's waterways are home to a rich variety of marine life including jellyfish, saltwater crocodiles and more. Fishing is one of the biggest recreational activities in the city and several global tourists flock to the city with an aim towards capturing the highly coveted barramundi, one of the most popular fishes in the entire region. The East Alligator, Mary and Daly Rivers are some of the hotspots for those into fishing.
Blue water fishing is another popular activity in the city where people mainly look to snap up the black Jewfish, Spanish mackerel, snapper, queen fish and several other varieties. Lake Alexander is a man made swimming lake which is where a lot of this action takes place! This lake is part of the East Point Reserve and is one of the biggest attractions for tourists. The Darwin Surf Lifesaving Club has several surf skis and long boats and also organizes several life saving courses and events throughout the year. There are innumerable gardens and parks located at Darwin and some of the famous ones include the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Charles Darwin National Park, East Point Reserve, Bicentennial Park and the Casuarina Coastal Reserve among many others. Darwin is a sporting city and is home to the highly acclaimed Marrara Sports Complex near the airport. This complex contains stadiums for basketball, soccer, cricket, Aussie Rules, athletics, rugby union and field hockey. The city has hosted international test matches in addition to Australian Rules football league games. Several rugby union and league competitions are also played at Darwin every year.
The Darwin Cup is a popular horse racing event held in the city and attracts huge crowds each year at the popular Fannie Bay Racecourse. This event is also televised by Sky Racing and this day is considered a public holiday in the entire Northern Territory, which just goes to show its popularity amongst the locals. The Darwin International Airport and the Royal Australian Air Force Base demarcate the newer suburbs of the city from the older part. Palmerston is one of Darwin's fastest growing areas and some popular rural areas include Humpty Doo, Howard Springs and Berry Springs among others.
The Central Business District is encircled by Mitchell Street, Daly Street and McMinn Street in addition to Bennett Street. The Central Business District is home to several premium projects including the Stokes Hill wharf waterfront area redevelopment project and a new convention center that can accommodate 1500 people along with offering gargantuan exhibition space. This area is being transformed with several public spaces, hotels and residential apartments set to be constructed here. The major industrial zone of the city lies off the Stuart Highway and is majorly focused on Winnellie. The biggest shopping precinct is Casuarina Square and this draws several locals and tourists alike. Brinkin and Larrakeyah are two of the poshest and most expensive areas in the city while some highly populated suburbs include Coconut Grove, Millner and Karama in addition to Lyon.
Tourism and mining are the two biggest contributors to the economy of Darwin along with the energy industry. The entire mining and energy industry produces more than $2.5 billion every year. Gold, bauxite and zinc along with manganese constitute the chief natural resources of the region. The energy production majorly takes place on an offshore basis courtesy natural gas and oil production from the Timor Sea. Tourism is expected to grow further in Darwin and is a major source of revenue even today. Darwin is home to a substantial military population and this is also a major source of employment. Darwin is also a major port and is a gateway towards increased tapping of petroleum reserves in the Timor Sea.