Darwin is a small yet cosmopolitan city. People from more than 50 nations make up its population of 110,000. It is on the Timor Sea (a branch of the Indian Ocean) in north-central Australia. Darwin is the tropical capital city of the Northern Territory.
Darwin is notable amongst the capital cities for its relaxed lifestyle and unique multiculturalism, where people from over 50 different cultures live and work side by side. The regular Asian-style markets that form an instrinsic part of the everyday Darwin landscape for local residents see food, music, language, and culture from just about every Asian nation, alongside crocodile hunters, local Aboriginal artists, musicians of every genre, sports fishing operators, sunset sails, and families with children playing on the beach. Darwin's unique cosmopolitan makeup has been recognised as an "multicultural icon of national significance" by the Australian National Tust.
Darwin's tropical climate has two major seasons, the 'dry', from about May to October, and the 'wet', from November to April. Major cyclones have occurred approximately once every three decades. Much of the city was destroyed by Cyclone Tracy in 1974.
Darwin is also the only Australian capital city to have come under substantial attack during a war. On 19 February, 1942, Japanese planes made two major air raids on Darwin from the aircraft carrier fleet that had attacked Pearl Harbor less than 3 months earlier. These were the first of 64 air attacks experienced by the city during World War II, the last being on 12 November, 1943. (Other areas in northern Queensland and northern Western Australia were also bombed by Japanese aircraft.)
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