Originally called Palmerston, the city was renamed Darwin in 1911, and is the smallest and wettest of Australia’s state capitals. Situated right up north on the Timor Sea, there are good beaches, and blue water and barramundi fishing, but Darwin has been rebuilt three times after cyclones — in 1897, 1937, and in1974 after Cyclone Tracy when two-thirds of the population had to be evacuated — and once after Japanese air raids during the Second World War.
The Darwin Aviation Museum displays 19 aircraft and 21 engines as it depicts the aviation history of the Northern Territory
Many aviation trailblazers stopped in Darwin, from Captain Ross Smith and his crew in a Vickers Vimy G-EAOU in 1919 to Amy Johnson, Amelia Earheart, Charles Kingsford Smith and Bert Hinkler. The original QANTAS Empire Airways Ltd Hangar has been turned into the Darwin Aviation Museum. Darwin was a compulsory stop over/check point in the 1934 MacRobertson London to Melbourne Centenary Air Race.
The main industries in Darwin are mining — gold, zinc, bauxite, manganese and uranium — and energy — mainly oil and natural gas off shore from the Timor Sea. Tourism is growing as trade with Asia, particularly China, increases, and there are tours to the Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks and Katherine Gorge.
The Northern Territory has just gone through its driest wet season in almost 30 years and at the beginning of May 2019 the Darwin River Dam was only three-quarters full.
There is an advantageous electricity buy-back programme in Darwin, where the average roof gets almost six hours of peak sun a day.
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