The Northern Territory is the third larges of land divisions in Australia following Western Australia and Queensland. It covers an area of 1,346,200 sq km (519,771 sq mi) roughly about 17. 5 per cent of the total area of Australia. The northern territory consists of mainly of tablelands that rise out gradually from the coast reaching an average height of 700m (2,300 ft).
The climate of the Northern territory is a major factor. The coastal climate is of the tropical monsoonal type of climate and receiving an annual rainfall of more than 63 inches (1,600 mm) in some places. The interior however, gets increasingly arid as we move away from the coast. Here the average annual rainfall is about 10 inches (254 mm). The wet season lasts from November to April.
As compared to any other Australian state or territory, the northern territory has the largest concentration of indigenous aborigines. They also have one of the largest Asian populations. This is the only territory in Australia where the aborigines can live in their self-contained communities while practicing the traditional life style. The indigenous aborigines and Torre Strait Islanders controlled about 34 per cent of the northern territory prior to the Native Land Title Act. The High Courts ruling that Australia was not empty land (terra nullis) when the Europeans arrived, brought about the legislation that gave the aborigines the right to claim land title if they could prove a "close and continuing relationship with the land in question.
Darwin situated on the north-western coast is the capital of the Northern territory. Darwin and Alice Springs are the two major cities. Darwin as well as bring its largest city, is also the principal of the Northern territory.
Northern Territory took shape as land that the neighboring states did not want. Being heavily dependant on the federal government for financial support, several attempts for statehood have been foundered based on this reality, among others. Initially South Australia took over responsibility in 1863 but the territory was relinquished to the federal government in 1911. Until strategic factors like the (Japanese bombing on Darwin during the World War II awakened a greater interest in the so-called 'Top-End" of the continent, the territory was governed by the Commonwealth administrators. However, in 1974 a legislative Assembly was created, followed by an internal self-government under a unicameral system setup in 1978. The Northern Territory is now represented in the House of Representatives by one member and two members are sent to the Senate in the Federal parliament.