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The Northern Territory is a great destination for students looking for a relaxed and tropical lifestyle, while also offering a broad range of courses, including some that are specific to the location.
In this section, we discuss:
Living in the Northern Territory
The Northern Territory and its capital, Darwin, have a great deal to offer students seeking a relaxed outdoor lifestyle and multicultural society.
Darwin boasts a relaxed outdoor lifestyle and is Australia’s only tropical capital city. There’s an energetic multicultural art and market scene and one of the world’s most outstanding natural and cultural destinations — the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Arnhem Land and WA’s Kimberley region are also close by.
During breaks, students can relax at the city’s tropical gardens and beaches, catch a flick at the outdoor Deckchair Cinema or visit one of the restaurants and nightclubs on Mitchell Street. Popular events range from the artistic (the Darwin Festival) to the slightly silly, such as the Darwin Beer Can Regatta, where all vessels are built entirely of beer and soft drink cans.
Further south, Alice Springs is the second major city in the Northern Territory and the base for exploring Australia’s most extraordinary outback wonders, including Uluru. Set amongst a striking red desert landscape, the town itself offers plenty of opportunities for adventure activities, trekking and viewing the Aboriginal art of the region.
AFL and rugby are played year round in the Northern Territory’s balmy climate, as well as cricket, soccer and basketball. Fishing is a popular pastime with locals, and the Territory’s varied salt and freshwater fishing spots are jumping with barramundi, queen fish and snapper.
The median weekly rental price for a house in Darwin is $700, with the median weekly rental price for a unit sitting at $570. In comparison, the median price of a house in Sydney is around $500 a week and in Brisbane is around $400.
The student rental market is very competitive. Visit your institution’s housing service for referrals or advice.
Note: Figures presented here are intended as a guide only. Prices vary within and between suburbs and towns. Source: Australian Property Monitors, December 2013.
Buses run frequently between central Darwin and Charles Darwin University campuses at Casuarina and Palmerston in peak times but are sparse at night and on weekends. Tertiary students are eligible for concession fares on public transport. In other parts of the state, transport is limited, so access to a form of personal transport may be required. For more information about public transport in Darwin, see the Department of Transport website.
Darwin has a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. The average maximum temperature is in the low 30s all year round. Further south, the winter maximum drops to around 20°C.
The Northern Territory's student population is around 10,000. Of these, around 57 per cent of domestic students are from interstate and a further nine per cent are from overseas (Department of Industry, 2013).
The main provider of higher education in the Northern Territory is Charles Darwin University, which has campuses and study centres throughout the NT and provides higher education courses for Indigenous Australians through the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Education.
Drawing on the unique local environment and culture, the NT is known for expertise in specialised areas such as tropical and desert science, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous health and Southeast Asian studies. There is also a good selection of courses in general areas such as business, education, law and nursing.
Featured institutions in the NT
See the Institution search for a full list of institutions in the NT.