Darwin Accommodation

Geographical Information

The Territory covers about one sixth of the Australian mainland, and encompasses a wide variety of climatic zones and geographic features. About 80% of the Territory is within the tropics, with the more than 6,000km of coastline mainly flat and characterised by mangroves, swamps and mudflats. The ancient land has been worn almost flat by millions of years of erosion. The highest 'mountains', the Macdonnell Ranges, are simply a ridge of east-west hills not much more than 600m high. The Arnhem Land plateau rises abruptly but reaches a height of no more than 450m on its way to the coast on the Gulf of Carpentaria. Uluru (Ayers Rock) rises to 348m from its surrounding plain in the south-west of the Territory.

The 'Top End' is the northernmost quarter of the Territory. Made up of savannah woodlands, rainforest, wetlands and gorges, it's the front door to Australia for travellers arriving from South East Asia. It encompasses the Kakadu (www.deh.gov.au/parks/kakadu), an immense national park jointly managed by the Australian government and the land's traditional owners, the Kunwinjku, Gun-djeihmi and Jawoyn people. South of Kakadu is the Nitmiluk National Park, which includes the famous Katherine Gorge.

The superlatives are inadequate to describe the extraordinary landscapes and geographic formations on offer in the Territory. From the lush wetlands and rainforests of the north – an ornithologist's dream - through to the arid desert of the Red Centre, this is a unique landscape. Uluru, Kata Tjuta (th Olgas) and the Devil's Marbles are scattered across the Territory like the playthings of a prehistoric giant. This is one of the great things about the Territory: it truly feels like the land that time forgot, but is nevertheless well-served by modern facilities.

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