Darwin is the only Australian city featured in recently-released Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2012. According to Lonely Planet, Darwin offers a “pumping nocturnal scene, magical markets and restaurants, and world-class wilderness areas just down the road, today Darwin is the triumph of Australia’s Top End”.
The Aboriginal people of the Larrakia language group are the first inhabitants of the greater Darwin area. They had trading routes with Southeast Asia, and imported goods from as far afield as South and Western Australia. Established songlines penetrated throughout the country, allowing stories and histories to be told and retold along the routes.
Darwin is closer to the capitals of five other countries than to the capital of Australia.
Canberra (Australia) 3,137 kilometres (1,949 mi)
Dili (East Timor) is 656 km (408 mi)
Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) is 1,818 km (1,130 mi)
Jakarta (Indonesia) is 2,700 km (1,678 mi)
Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei) is 2,607 km (1,620 mi)
Melekeok (Palau) is 2,247 km (1,396 mi) from Darwin.
Singapore is only slightly farther away at 3,350 km (2,082 mi), as is Manila (Philippines) at 3,206 km (1,992 mi), and Honiara (Solomon Islands) at 3,198 km (1,987 mi). Ambon, Indonesia, is only 881 km (547 mi) away from Darwin.
Darwin is perfectly positioned to give a competitive edge to any business or industry that relies on fast, efficient transport. Trade with Asia is of growing importance to Australia, and accounts for almost 50 per cent of Australia's merchandise shipments. Already, several large Australian companies have established operations in Darwin.
The region, like the rest of the Top End, has a tropical climate, with a wet and a dry season. It receives heavy rainfall during the Wet, and is well known for its spectacular lightning.
Darwin is one of the fastest growing capital cities in Australia, it has a population of approx 127,500, making it by far the largest and most populated city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities.