Darwin is the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory and has a population of about forty thousand people. Among the forty thousand residents are between forty-five and sixty different ethnic groups turning the city into a melting pot of different races and cultures.
The original city was founded in 1869 and was named Palmerston. It wasn’t officially changed to Darwin until 1911 when it was called after the world famous naturalist, Charles Darwin. In the beginning its development was quite slow but with the discovery of gold at Pine Creek in the 1930s things were about the change dramatically. This find had a major influence on the city’s growth until it was almost destroyed by Japanese bombers during World War II. Following this, it was extremely badly damaged once again in 1974 when Cyclone Tracy came to town travelling at speeds of up to two hundred and eighty kilometres per hour. Repairs began almost immediately, however, and the city is now the major commercial and transportation centre of Northern Australia thanks to its position as the doorway to all other major Northern areas.
Darwin’s main industries are mining and administration but it is also becoming an extremely popular tourist attraction. Evidence of this can be seen in the multitude of hostels, hotels, motels and campsites which are popping up all over the city. Yet, despite the influx of visitors, the city still maintains its many ethnic roots and this is always reassuring in a country which has been bombarded by tourists in recent years.