The Beauty of Oz's Top End
Despite being given the title 'capital' of Australia's Northern Territory, Darwin is far from the bustling metropolis of Sydney. That's one of the reasons I love living in Darwin; although we have everything we need here, just half an hour out of town is really quite remote, rugged, and essentially untouched wilderness.
The Northern Territory covers over 1.3 million square kilometres (around five times the size of the entire UK) but has a population of only 220,000, around 100,000 of which are in Darwin. Melbourne has a population of over 4 million people, and every other mainland Australian state capital has over a million residents, so you can see comparatively Darwin is very small.
That means you can go for a walk on the beach and be the only person on it. You can go fishing and easily find you are the only boat for miles. We have a lot of birds and other native, wild animals - some rare in other parts of Australia are abundant here - and you can swim in waterfalls by yourself.
There are two very different sides to Darwin as the seasons are dramatic. In the dry season (May-Oct), there is not a cloud in the sky and not a drop of rain for the entire five-month season. Temperatures remain stuck at 30 degrees, water is blue, the town is bustling with tourists, plenty of events, activities and lots to do; it's the perfect place to live.
The other side is the side that I would guess only around 1% of holidayers and backpackers get to see - the wet season.
As a photography enthusiast, I love it. We get anything from 1.5 metres to 3 metres of rain in around four months. The landscape becomes bright, fluro green.
Floodplains flood, water is everywhere - rivers swell, flow and flood, waterfalls are gushing. The storms are incredible - massive lightning shows, rumbling thunder, and the rain pours. The sunsets are so dramatic.
The downside is that roads close and it's harder to get around as not every attraction is accessible. Darwin is an awesome place to visit in the wet season - it's a very different picture to the dry... but if you are a nature lover, you should give it a try!
These photos are all taken this season - from October 2012 to now (end of March 2013). All are taken in Darwin's suburbs - you really don't need to go far to find awesome landscapes!
If Louise's photos have inspired you to travel to Oz then make sure you go to our Australia country page for more advice and information.
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About the Author: Louise Denton
Lou's username is Denton32. She has been using gapyear.com since 2008, back when she was planning her first trip to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. She has now travelled all over Oz and she's currently living in Darwin, but still has plans to continue exploring the remote corners of Australia. Lou has also done two extended trips in South East Asia and a couple of shoestring adventures around Europe. Outside gapyear.com she is a keen photographer and has her own (awesome) photography website.
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