Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the worlds sixth-largest country by total area, the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east. Australias capital is Canberra, and its largest urban area is Sydney, for about 50,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who spoke languages classifiable into roughly 250 groups. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored, on 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy comprising six states.
The population of 24 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard, Australia has the worlds 13th-largest economy and ninth-highest per capita income. With the second-highest human development index globally, the country highly in quality of life, education, economic freedom. The name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis a name used for putative lands in the southern hemisphere since ancient times, the Dutch adjectival form Australische was used in a Dutch book in Batavia in 1638, to refer to the newly discovered lands to the south. On 12 December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office that it be formally adopted, in 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known officially as Australia. The first official published use of the term Australia came with the 1830 publication of The Australia Directory and these first inhabitants may have been ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. The Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, were originally horticulturists, the northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited sporadically by fishermen from Maritime Southeast Asia.
The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland, and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent, are attributed to the Dutch. The first ship and crew to chart the Australian coast and meet with Aboriginal people was the Duyfken captained by Dutch navigator, Willem Janszoon. He sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in early 1606, the Dutch charted the whole of the western and northern coastlines and named the island continent New Holland during the 17th century, but made no attempt at settlement. William Dampier, an English explorer and privateer, landed on the north-west coast of New Holland in 1688, in 1770, James Cook sailed along and mapped the east coast, which he named New South Wales and claimed for Great Britain. The first settlement led to the foundation of Sydney, and the exploration, a British settlement was established in Van Diemens Land, now known as Tasmania, in 1803, and it became a separate colony in 1825. The United Kingdom formally claimed the part of Western Australia in 1828.
Separate colonies were carved from parts of New South Wales, South Australia in 1836, Victoria in 1851, the Northern Territory was founded in 1911 when it was excised from South Australia
The Northern Territory is a federal Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia. It shares borders with Western Australia to the west, South Australia to the south, to the north, the territory is bordered by the Timor Sea, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Despite its large area—over 1,349,129 square kilometres, the Northern Territorys population of 244,000 makes it the least populous of Australias eight major states and territories, having fewer than half as many people as Tasmania. The archaeological history of the Northern Territory begins over 40,000 years ago when Indigenous Australians settled the region, makassan traders began trading with the indigenous people of the Northern Territory for trepang from at least the 18th century onwards. The coast of the territory was first seen by Europeans in the 17th century, the British were the first Europeans to attempt to settle the coastal regions. After three failed attempts to establish a settlement, success was achieved in 1869 with the establishment of a settlement at Port Darwin.
Today the economy is based on tourism, especially Kakadu National Park in the Top End and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in central Australia, the capital and largest city is Darwin. The population is not concentrated in regions but rather along the Stuart Highway. The other major settlements are Palmerston, Alice Springs, Nhulunbuy, residents of the Northern Territory are often known simply as Territorians and fully as Northern Territorians, or more informally as Top Enders and Centralians. With the coming of the British, there were four attempts to settle the harsh environment of the northern coast. The Northern Territory was part of colonial New South Wales from 1825 to 1863, except for a time from February to December 1846. It was part of South Australia from 1863 to 1911, under the administration of colonial South Australia, the overland telegraph was constructed between 1870 and 1872. A railway was built between Palmerston and Pine Creek between 1883 and 1889. The economic pattern of raising and mining was established so that by 1911 there were 513,000 cattle.
Victoria River Downs was at one time the largest cattle station in the world, gold was found at Grove Hill in 1872 and at Pine Creek, Brocks Creek and copper was found at Daly River. On 1 January 1911, a decade after federation, the Northern Territory was separated from South Australia, alfred Deakin opined at this time To me the question has been not so much commercial as national, second and last. Either we must accomplish the peopling of the territory or submit to its transfer to some other nation. In late 1912 there was growing sentiment that the name Northern Territory was unsatisfactory, the names Kingsland and Territoria were proposed with Kingsland becoming the preferred choice in 1913