Northern Territory, Australia - Stein Travel
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Northern Territory

A slice through the centre of Australia, the Northern Territory contains the 'Red Centre' of the country with its rugged bush, ancient Aboriginal cultures and amazing plant and wildlife. The abundant wide open space is the 'Outback' of Australia. The Northern Territory is twice the size of California, but is inhabited by fewer than 200,000 people. It draws tourists, however, because it forms the backdrop for adventure on a grand scale - hot-air ballooning, bushwalking, four-wheel drive safaris, camel rides, all of it accessible from good roads and from bases with quality accommodation.

From Darwin, the capital of Northern Australia in the far north, down to the mysterious Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the pioneering town of Alice Springs in the south, the Northern Territory is a land of contrasts. Here you will meet some of Australia's most colourful characters and experience deserts, islands and beaches, wetlands teeming with birds and crocodiles, shining rivers and ancient Aboriginal sites.

Travellers should be aware that especially during the summer months (usually between October and May) the shallow coastal waters of northern Australia become infested with marine stingers, commonly known as box jellyfish, whose sting is highly dangerous and can be deadly. Many beaches offer protected swimming with stinger nets in place, or enclosed tidal pools, and surf lifesavers may warn people off infested beaches. Swimmers may also wear a lycra 'stinger suit' as protection.

Information & Facts

Climate

The Northern Territory covers two distinctive climate zones. The north, including Darwin, is tropical with high humidity and a wet and dry season. Rainfall during the rainy season (November to April) can be very heavy. The central region is the desert centre of the country, which includes Alice Springs and Ayers Rock, and is semi-arid with little rain usually falling during the hottest months from October to March.

Language

English is the official language of Australia.

Money

The Australian Dollar (AUD) is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change exchange most foreign currencies. Travellers cheques are also welcome everywhere, but banks take a small commission and it is better to take cheques in major currencies (e.g. US dollars or Euros) to avoid additional charges. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are freely available throughout the country. Banking hours are generally 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.

Time

GMT +9.5.

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