The earliest people to occupy the area were the Aboriginal people. In 1623 the Dutch ship Arnhem was the first recorded European contact with the Northern Territory. Up until the 1800's many explorers had shown interest in establishing a settlement. It was not until 1825 that a British settlement was established at Ford Dundes on Melville Island. Another settlement was found by Captain James Stirling on the Cobourg Peninsula in 1827. In 1829 both settlements were abandoned because of hostile Aboriginal people and tropical disease. Another attempt at colonisation was made but after a mere 11 years, fever led to its abandonment.
Meanwhile another parts of Northern Territory's interior were being explored by people such as Ludwig Leichhardt and Charles Sturt. During the 1860's many attempts were made to use the land for grazing cattle but few survived the harsh conditions. Eventually in 1870 a permanent settlement around the regions of Port Darwin was made when gold was found in the Pine Creek area and many migrants rushed to Australia. By the 1900s nearly 2000 people inhabited the Northern Territory and a mining industry employing mostly Chinese was established.
The Northern Territory was administered by the federal government until June 1978 when it came under partial self-rule. The region is expected to become a full-fledged state in the Australian Federation.
The Commonwealth government took over the administration Northern Territory in 1911 and changed the capital's name of Palmerston to Darwin. Japanese attacks partially destroyed Darwin during World War II. Darwin was hit by another disaster on Christmas Day on 1975 when Cyclone Tracey ripped through the city leaving the people with the task of rebuilding an entire city.
Eventually the region of the Northern Territory is expected to become a full-fledged state in the Australian Federation.
[AUSTRALIA] - [NSW] - [NT] - [QLD] - [SA] - [TAS] - [VIC] - [WA]