The Northern Territory is the north central region in Australia. It is very close to the equator, which causes a warm, tropical climate near the coast and a desert climate near the southern border. It houses the outback and several national parks and is well-known for its rich history in the aboriginal culture. The area is quite large, yet it only populates about 234,000 people.
Over the past six weeks I have spent the majority of my time volunteering and traveling among Australia's Northern Territory. I had the opportunity to volunteer for three different families and I learned a lot in the process. I've also visited all of the National Parks and several other free attractions. (More on that here.) In all, I've grown to really love the NT and all it has to offer. I feel that it is a classic part of Australia that often times goes under recognized. Here are ten things I learned while visiting the NT.
The houses here are built different than in other places I've been. Because of the extreme heat, both in dry and wet season, the houses are built with high ceilings, lots of open windows or screens and of course, everything is cyclone-proof, just ot be on the safe side. The result is beautiful and unique establishments full of charm and quality.
Pace of life
The pace of life here reminds me of other rural communities I've been in. The Northern Territory is full of people who are in no hurry to do anything. Opposite their southern neighbors, the folks of the territory are laid-back and always ready for a good sitting spell.
Type of People
Perhaps this goes along with the pace of life, but the territory citizens seem to be very generosity and friendly. Because they are miles away from each other, their bond is closer. Everyone is a neighbor and they all swing for the same team.
The territory is one of the hottest places in Australia. During the winter when things cool down in the south part of the country, it is still common for temperatures to be 70-90 degrees Farenheit (21-38 celcius). I admire the people who live here year round. The heat is enough to make me want to move south for a while.
Only Two Seasons
Unlike the rest of the world, the Northern Territory of Australia only has two seasons: wet and dry. Both are hot and sticky, but one comes with tropical monsoons that sound absolutely miserable. I've been told of stories during the wet season and it sounds to me like you need to be a special person to endure it.
The importance of water
Because of the humidity, it is extremely important to drink lots of water while in the territory. Your body sweats more than you realize and the harshness of the Australian sun is worse up north, where it is closer to the equator.
Nearly all of the Northern Territory is rural. Darwin is the exception and it still only populates 116,000. This makes for a very spread out territory with lots of charm like chickens, donkeys, vegetable gardens and high gas prices.
The Stuart Highway runs right through the middle of the territory, creating a direct path for towns and people. Most of the territory's population runs on either side of this massive road.
It seems as though every part of Australia has some kind of deadly animal that they are known for. The territory's animal of choice, is the crocodile. I had the pleasure of seeing several crocodiles while in the territory. They are a known danger and can kill people who aren't practicing safe procedures.
the trees here are so beautiful. Aside from the eucalyptus that is commonly seen across Australia, the north brings palms and banana and coconut trees that all create a lovely atmosphere. It's like being on a beach in the middle of a desert.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences in the Northern Territory of Australia. The rural atmosphere and desert like climate made me feel right at home. If you plan on visiting the Northern Territory, check out my list of 10 Free Things to Do In the NT.