Darwin's proximity to Southeast Asia makes it an important Australian gateway. The city also acts as an access point for Arnhem Land, Katherine Gorge and the Kakadu National Park, as well as providing services for remote settlements like the Tiwi Islands and Groote Eylandt. With an annual growth rate of 2.6 per cent since 2006, Darwin is one of the fastest growing capital cities in Australia.
The city has an extensive network of parks and gardens along with huge stretches of pristine, unpolluted beaches. One of the main highlights of living here is the excellent weekly Mindil Beach sunset markets, where tourists and locals alike devour delicious food, shop for clothes and souvenirs and enjoy entertainment from local performing artists.
Fishing is another main recreational activity enjoyed by Darwin residents. Visitors flock from around the world to catch Barramundi in the various river systems.
Swimmers need to exercise caution in this area as deadly Box Jellyfish inhabit the coastal waters from October to May and saltwater crocodiles are common in all of the waterways surrounding Darwin.
If you are considering a move to Darwin make sure you prepare yourself for the tropical climate, with heavy monsoonal downpours in the wet season. The dry season is generally pleasant with plenty of blue skies and welcome breezes from the harbour.
The verdict: While still progressing from frontier outpost to modern city, Darwin has some solid plans for expansion on the horizon. Whether it's the fishing, the relaxed lifestyle or the short travel times to Asia that have you interested, Darwin could be worth checking out.
What are the prominent industries?
The mining, energy and tourism sectors are the most predominant. Darwin is a source of important mineral resources including zinc, manganese and gold. 8% of Darwin residents are employed in tourism and this is expected to grow. There is also a strong military presence in the area.
What is the area famous for?
? Darwin was struck by the devastating Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Day in 1974, resulting in the deaths of 71 people and the destruction of over 70% of the town's buildings. After the cyclone, the biggest airlift in Australia's history was carried out when 30,000 people of a then population of 46,000 were evacuated.
? The annual Darwin Festival includes dance, theatre, comedy, music and more, as well as hosting the NT Indigenous Music Awards.
? Every year the city of Darwin hosts a round of the V8 Supercars, which brings thousands of motorsports fans to the Hidden Valley Raceway.
Darwin's population of approximately 146,300 people comprises a number of ethnic backgrounds. People from the UK form the largest migrant group, followed by New Zealand, the Philippines and East Timor.
Some key landmarks in the area:
? The Darwin Wharf precinct marks the site where Japanese bombers attacked the city. Here you can find a great museum and some excellent memorials.
? The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is known as the main cultural institution in the Northern Territory and houses some fascinating ancient aboriginal artifacts.
? Lake Alexander in central Darwin is a popular spot for picnics and swimming since the enclosed waterway doesn't suffer from the dangerous creatures inhabiting the majority of the local waterways.