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Notes on the Geography of Australia: Darwin

The home stretch--the last 200 miles. It's like two worlds, with Darwin being not only the biggest city in the Northern Territory but having an aura of wealth that comes as a shock after everything else. You'll see.

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First town out of Katherine: Pine Creek, a mining town that mines no more. Here's the Chinese-owned general store and Greyhound stop.

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Blurry but you can feel the bit-of-this, bit-of-that atmosphere.

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Bookstore, too.

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Next door to the store, there's an old hotel built in the convenient, common, easy-to-take-apart-and-put-up-someplace-else mode suited to mining camps.

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The hotel in its prime, 1912.

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The town's former railway station.

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An abandoned pit.

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An old stamp mill.

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The same, seen with the engine that drove it.

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Details for the curious.

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More, too.

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A mixed-cargo road train.

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The original highway, leading to another wartime airstrip.

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The runway.

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Details.

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More details.

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Roadside inn.

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An alternative.

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The north coast at last.

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A shock, no? Downtown Darwin. The city has 120,000 people but feels bigger than that.

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The downtown waterfront is still public. Scandalous! A few American property developers could fix that in a hurry.

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A path down to the (rocky) beach.

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Any guesses?

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That was the seal on the gate of Government House, built in 1877.

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Nearby, Parliament House is from the 1990s.

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The old courthouse and police station, 1884.

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Brown's Mart, 1885. Originally a warehouse, it's had many subsequent uses; since 1972 it's been the Browns Mart Theatre.

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Ruins of the 1882 Town Hall, destroyed by Cyclone Tracy in 1977.

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The Victoria Hotel, 1890.

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Qantas, you remember, is an acronym for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service, so its presence here in the NT capital should be no surprise.

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Details.

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The military still has a strong presence in the city, too. Here, the Anzac Day parade, 2009.

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Cyclone Tracy did huge damage to Darwin, which means that many, if not most, of the houses are new. Many are stylistically modern, too, as well as prudently on stilts.

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A waterfront special.

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A gardener's hideaway.

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There are many residential high rises, this one boasting a bit of preserved facade.

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Another view.

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Many of the buildings have post-modern bits of color and/or swoosh.

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The same.

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Promotional billboard.

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The Lameroo, on the waterfront at Lameroo Beach.

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Who knows how such buildigns are named? This one, inscrutably, is called the Evolution on Gardiner.

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Just in case you didn't believe me.

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What do people in these apartments eat? Veggies, of course. Here's the selection at the local Woolworth's.


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