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Darwin ( (listen) DAR-win) is the capital city of the Northern Territory of Australia, situated on the Timor Sea. It is the largest city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, with a population of 145,916. It is the smallest and most northerly of the Australian capital cities, and acts as the Top End's regional centre.
Darwin's proximity to South East Asia makes it a link between Australia and countries such as Indonesia and East Timor. The Stuart Highway begins in Darwin, extends southerly across central Australia through Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, concluding in Port Augusta, South Australia. The city is built upon a low bluff overlooking the harbour. Its suburbs begin at Lee Point in the north and stretch to Berrimah in the east. Past Berrimah, the Stuart Highway goes on to Darwin's satellite city Palmerston and its suburbs.
The Darwin region, like much of the Top End, experiences a tropical climate with a wet and dry season. A period known locally as "the build up" leading up to Darwin's wet season sees temperature and humidity increase. Darwin's wet season typically arrives in late November to early December and brings with it heavy monsoonal downpours, spectacular lightning displays, and increased cyclone activity. During the dry season, the city has clear skies and mild sea breezes from the harbour.
The greater Darwin area is the ancestral home of the Larrakia people. On 9 September 1839, HMS Beagle sailed into Darwin harbour during its survey of the area. John Clements Wickham named the region "Port Darwin" in honour of their former shipmate Charles Darwin, who had sailed with them on the ship's previous voyage which ended in October 1836.