As the most northerly capital city on the Australian continent, Darwin is unique in many ways. It has a tropical climate, it is the capital of the largest Australian territory, and its people manage to share the coast and waterways with a crocodile population that would terrify southerners. Darwin has suffered man-made and natural disasters during its history. Both the Japanese bombing raid during the Second World War, and Cyclone Tracy in 1974, led to mass evacuations. Today, Darwin is a modern city. Its port handles a large percentage of Australia's live cattle trade, it is home to large defence force establishments, and it is a gateway city for tourists visiting the magnificent wonders of Kakadu.
Each of Australia's eight capital cities has a unique history. Some, like Sydney, depended on convicts for their early survival. Others, such as Adelaide, refused to accept convicts and developed differently as a result. Having a reliable source of fresh water was a common requirement, which is why all of the cities are located beside a water supply of some sort. Many cities struggled through their early years, until the 19th century Gold Rush provided them with the funds to build magnificent civic buildings, as well as roads, bridges and railways. Today, each of the capitals has its own character and attractions, and their development plans will determine the shape of Australia's future.