Northern Territory

Northern Territory (NT) is Australia’s third largest state* covering an area of around 1,346,200 km². If it were a country all on its own, it would be the world’s 20th biggest just ahead of Peru. The UK could fit into NT around 5 1/2 times and it is almost twice the size of Texas.

Yet it only has a population of around 240,000 people, making it the most sparsely populated area in Australia, it truly is the outback. This is probably why it is known as “The Australian Outback” but it is anybody’s guess as to why the residents of NT are affectionately known as “Alcoholics”. Cheers!

Northern Territory Location MapNo visit to Northern Territory would be complete with out taking in the spectacular experience of visiting Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock. The capital, Darwin, is also known as the “Top End”. NT  has some fantastic national parks, and of course, crocodiles!

Possibly the most famous Australian who originated from the Northern Territory would be Mandaway Yunupingu, who, in 1992, was Australian of the year. Who is he? He was the first Aboriginal to become a principal of a school in Australia or so I thought, but then a comment by Paul below put me straight about that. I first heard of him as the founder member of the world-famous band “Yothu Yindi”; they put Aboriginal music on the map. But Mandaway’s main accomplishment was improving understanding between Australians and the Aboriginal people.

Places in Northern Territory

Darwin is the capital of Northern Territory and other than that, there aren’t too many towns with populations greater than 10,000 people. In fact, there is just…

  • Alice Springs – just over 28,000 (As at 2011)

Told you it was sparsely populated. But I know there are many small communities in the territory, if you live in one, why not tell us all about it by commenting below?

*Technically, it’s not a state, it’s a territory. But it is the 3rd largest area all the same.

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{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Ivan October 2, 2021, 11:25 am |

    Ahem, it’s actually spelt Ayers Rock. Darwin is in the Top End, and Alice Springs is in the Red Centre.

    • BobinOz October 5, 2021, 6:33 pm |

      Hi Ivan, and thank you for the corrections. I wrote this page about 12 years ago so I honestly couldn’t tell you whether it was a typo or whether I really didn’t know how to spell Ayers Rock at the time. I certainly knew by 2010 though, I went there, visited Alice Springs and Uluru, which I thought was spectacular.

      I’ve updated the page to correct those errors, thank you again.

  • Trupti March 19, 2020, 3:44 pm |

    Please help me to know, what is cost of living in Northern Territory. Cost of living in terms of rent, electricity, food, transportation etc.
    I m planning to move their in June’20


  • Tariq March 26, 2019, 3:35 am |

    Which city in northern territory is best for finding fresh mechanical engineering job. Moreover plz if somebody has information then tell us about weather condition as well about the target city.

    • BobinOz March 26, 2019, 7:27 pm |

      Well, when it comes to Northern Territory, there is pretty much just Darwin when it comes to ‘cities’. That’s where I would head if I were you. To find out about the weather, have a look at the weather chart on my page about Darwin.

  • Kajal May 25, 2018, 8:14 pm |

    Hello frndz … anyone knw dat in how many we can get state nomination of nt?
    Have anyone idea about it…who recently got nomination of nt ?

  • Mel February 7, 2017, 2:35 pm |

    Me and my family planning to move to Darwin and we don’t know anyone there we r thinking weather we can rent a house as soon as we move

    Appreciate any help

    • BobinOz February 7, 2017, 8:41 pm |

      You can check the current available rentals from my page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia. Sometimes though it can be difficult to impossible to actually secure a rental before you get here. For example, here in Queensland you must personally inspect the property before you can apply to rent it.

      Each state and territory is different, and I’m not sure what the law is in NT. Maybe somebody local reading this will help you out.


      • Kevin Wrigley November 15, 2017, 9:57 am |

        Hi Mel, we are in the same situation as you now just moved to Darwin and looking for properties and jobs. As Bob said (and as you probably now know) same approach applies in the NT (inspect before applying for properties). How are you getting on in Darwin? Looking for marketing jobs in case you know of any appreciate any leads Thx Kevin

  • Giri October 10, 2016, 3:52 pm |

    How is NT for HR Jobs?


  • Sanjana June 16, 2015, 9:37 pm |

    Hi,I have got my 4 years visa for Australia and will be moving to Darwin soon.
    I would like to know if there are good job options available for hospitality professionals. I have a work experience of 5 years in 5 star hotels as a manager.
    Also, what about housing in darwin?

    • BobinOz June 17, 2015, 4:22 pm |

      I don’t live in Darwin, but from what I hear it is probably the best location in all of Australia for finding work so I’m sure you will find something suitable. Housing though, that’s quite tricky, hard to find and expensive from what I’ve heard.

    • Paulson November 28, 2015, 8:28 pm |

      @sanjana, can I get your E-mail ID. This is my id

    • Sandra June 25, 2016, 1:24 am |

      Hi Sanjana,
      My name is Sandra and l’m from Croatia. Are you from Croatia as well or some ex Yu country?

    • Foram August 8, 2016, 3:26 am |

      Hi sanjana

      My husband also want to apply for NT state sponsorship but our agent told that we need like of people who lives there.

      Please guide me for this. How u got state sponsorship of NT.

  • paul March 9, 2015, 8:25 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Think you’ll find Vic Chapman holds the honour of first Aboriginal principal in 1975.

    • BobinOz March 10, 2015, 7:10 pm |

      It appears as though you are correct Paul, seems he was, looks like even the ABC made the same mistake in one of their TV documentaries. I shall make an amendment to my page above, thanks for letting me know.

      • Foram August 8, 2016, 3:28 am |

        My husband also want to apply for NT state sponsorship but our agent told that we need like of people who lives there.

        Please guide me for this. How u got state sponsorship of NT.

  • Bilal February 16, 2015, 11:01 pm |


    My name is Bilal I am PhD in Engineering and thinking of moving to Australia; I was looking at different states in Australia but got more attracted to NT; By profession I am a University Asst Professor (Research Faculty); What would be my best option if I to choose to move to NT in terms of city or town; also from the internet i found only one Darwin University in the area; are their any engineering institutions apart from Darwin University.

    • BobinOz February 17, 2015, 12:25 am |

      Darwin is Australia’s smallest state capital city and Northern Territory doesn’t really have any other large towns or cities other than the one mentioned in my list in the above article.

      As far as I am aware, it only has one university, that’s Charles Darwin University, but I don’t know that for sure. If you can’t find any engineering institutions in Darwin via Google, then it is probably because there isn’t one.

      If you do move to NT, I think your only option would be to live in Darwin in my opinion.

      • neshanto December 22, 2016, 2:49 pm |

        I am from india just completed my 12th.Want to study bachelor in sports management there in darwin what will be total expenses like fees,room rent including the bond. my mail address It will be of great help if you guide me. thankyou

        • BobinOz December 23, 2016, 9:20 pm |

          I have no idea, but my expert might be able to help you, he does free assessments from my page about Student Visas.

          • nishant December 23, 2016, 11:56 pm |

            Bob you mentioned about your friend who is doing free assessment for international students. I want to know about sports management degree courses requirements can you please send me his details in my mail my phone number # 7399904953

            • BobinOz December 24, 2016, 6:05 pm |

              You get in touch with my student expert by following the instructions on the page I gave you a link to. Please read it in full to see how it works.

  • ali February 5, 2014, 7:49 pm |

    My wife and I are really like to move to NT. We are both engineers but we don’t know if we could find appropriate jobs. we are material and mechanical engineers with about 8 years of experience each. could you help us through it? tnx.

    • BobinOz February 6, 2014, 4:33 pm |

      I can’t help you through it, but I can tell you that from what I am told it isn’t hard to get work in NT, particularly Darwin. Check out my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and use the links to the online employment agencies to check the vacancies up that way.

  • John Vance December 19, 2012, 11:23 am |

    Try here.

    A little later but just noted your letter. Happy Christmas to all of Bob’s website fans from

  • Holly July 1, 2012, 6:36 pm |

    Hey Bob,

    Looking at your blog I noticed you’ve had a trip to Alice Springs! My partner and I are seriously considering moving to NT as I am a teacher and there is a demand for teachers in that state.

    When applying, there is the option to teach remote in indigenous communities. The NT website I feel gives a slightly idealised view of teaching in a remote location (showing success stories as it were). I don’t want to regret the move and be unable to acclimatise to the environment.

    My partner and I are keen campers, love outdoors, not really into modern comforts (can make do without a TV etc), love exploring, etc etc, but I don’t know whether this is enough! I love teaching and would find that aspect so rewarding, but I don’t know whether I am living in a dream world!

    Has anyone been to remote communities in NT? Remote locations for teachers have government housing, but there is no information on this either. I have trawled the internet and the best source of info is the NT website itself. Can anyone help me unpick what living and teaching in a remote community is really like?!?!?

    Or shall I just stick to applying to the territory and skip the remote part!? hmm. We’re hoping to be in Oz mid 2013.

    It’s a long shot, but someone may know something!!!!

    Thanks! 😀

    • BobinOz July 3, 2012, 1:33 pm |

      Hi Holly

      I see no one has popped by to help you out with this one, obviously I can’t really answer it as I have no idea what it would really be like. Anything I could say would be purely guesswork, so hopefully someone with experience in this field will pop by soon.

      Good luck whatever you decide to do in the end.

      • Ayn October 30, 2016, 3:31 am |

        30/10/16 Anyone looking for jobs/employment in the Northern Territory (NT), Australia should first look up NT Government website. School teachers and nurses are in high demand for remote area jobs. Not everyone can handle ‘Remote’ Northern Territory so be careful of what you wish for. NT is very, very hot in the ‘Wet Season’ (look up NT Government Website). Also look up employment sites like ‘Seek’ for contract jobs to get to see/feel the remoteness of the Northern Territory. NT is so far away from the rest of Australia, food and rents/housing are expensive. Look up to see rental properties costs in Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherine, Tennant Creek. I hope this gives you all some idea. If you do make it to the “Top End’, Welcome!

    • Goofy December 6, 2015, 11:26 pm |

      Well my reply is a few years too late, just found this site whilst browsing about bored with TV.

      I have never been to Darwin but have been to one of the aboriginal settlements called Yuendumu. It’s one of the larger settlements I think actually also probably the best known one.

      It’s about 300km west of Alice Springs. Usually when folks out there say they are going to town they mean they are going to Alice Springs a short 600km trip there and back.

      If you are driving about in the Northern territory do pay attention to the signs. When a big sign says it’s 350km to the next service station that’s exactly what it means, it’s not like wait till the fuel warning light comes on and then ‘start’ looking around for a gas station. And do slow down when you see bullocks and kangaroos, because they tend to do crazy things and jump or run right in front of your car.

      The wedge tailed eagles do enjoy a bit of fresh road kill! You will see a wedgie or two on the roadside enjoying a roadkill feast. I wouldn’t advise getting out too close, in case the eagle decides you are trying to steal his/her dinner. They are one of the biggest birds of prey in the world, and it’s a damn long ride to the hospital.

      Mainly they have huge great cattle stations in the outback. The biggest one is actually in South Australia called Anna Creek Station. In terms of acres it’s the largest cattle station in the world. Some that are in the Northern Territory aren’t much smaller. Although they cover a huge acreage they would have few head of cattle per acre.

      One thing you should know most Australian native folk speak English very well, better than many of us city types really. They tend to prefer using their own language though. There are/were over 100 different tribes, and each has a different language. A word in one language may mean something fairly basic, like ‘yes’ .. and in another aboriginal dialect the same word is an insult!

      Living conditions out there would best be described as pretty basic. I can tell you, you will probably not be going hiking or bush walking without a great deal of planning because you will probably die. Aboriginal folks would have a decent chance of surviving on bush tucker, but they know whats poisonous and what isn’t and how to find water in one great huge enormous bleeping desert. It’s hot during the day, and it can be bloody freezing at night.

      When you aren’t teaching there isn’t much to do out there to pass the time unless you want to help collect bush tucker. If you can play a musical instrument, or sing you’ll be well received. It’s all about sitting around drinking tea, or beer if someone managed to sneak some in from Alice Springs.
      There is no alcohol in Yuendumu itself.

      I met 2 european folks (I hope Frank & Wendy won’t get too upset calling them that). Frank ran or helped run the local mining company, and Wendy was a school teacher there. They both lived there for a long time.

      If you really want to know what living in one of those remote communities is like you could try contacting Frank & Wendy Baarda at Yuendumu. I’m pretty sure they both have email addresses. Phoning them would probably be terribly expensive.

      You may glean some info here. Both Frank and his wife Wendy are well known personages out there.

      I couldn’t find a email address for either of them unfortunately. I’m sure I used to have it somewhere, but I did find this page

      Frank is a little ummm .. vocal (possibly another term could be ‘outspoken’) on various issues so I think he likes to keep his email address quiet.

      I’m not sure if that helps anyone thinking of going to the Northern Territory. I myself am a city dweller from Melbourne. I think I can safely say that most city folks in Melbourne & Sydney have little to no interaction with any aboriginal folk at all. In the big cities it’s like aboriginal folk don’t exist, out of sight out of mind.

      It’s a vastly different world living in the Australian outback.

      • BobinOz December 7, 2015, 8:14 pm |

        Great info Goofy, probably a bit late for Holly, but I’m sure this will be useful for anybody else thinking of going remote NT. Thanks, Bob

  • Salim.Ali January 29, 2012, 4:57 pm |

    Dentist from pakistan ,like to come to darvin as a dental assistant but need to complete certificate 111 for dental assistant qualification registerable in austraslia.

    please advise me ,I am 55 years old and 26 years worked as dentist


    • BobinOz January 30, 2012, 1:07 pm |

      Hi Salim

      I wish I could help, but I’m just not qualified to do that sort of thing. Good luck!

  • dhaki December 2, 2011, 1:43 pm |

    i want to know the cost of living,rent, housing systems, transport and utilities in the northern territory.

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