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, Burrundi, and copper was found at Daly River.A railway was also built between Palmerston and Pine Creek between 18.
Residents of the Northern Territory are often known simply as "Territorians" and fully as "Northern Territorians", or more informally as "Top Enders" and "Centralians".
Indigenous Australians have lived in the present area of the Northern Territory for an estimated 40,000 years, and extensive seasonal trade links existed between them and the peoples of what is now Indonesia for at least five centuries.
With the coming of the British, there were four early attempts to settle the harsh environment of the northern coast, of which three failed in starvation and despair.
The Northern Territory was part of colonial New South Wales from 1825 to 1863, except for a brief time from February to December 1846, when it was part of the short-lived colony of North Australia. Under the administration of colonial South Australia, the overland telegraph was constructed between 18.
On 1 January 1911, a decade after federation, the Northern Territory was separated from South Australia and transferred to Commonwealth control.
Alfred Deakin opined at this time "To me the question has been not so much commercial as national, first, second, third and last.The Northern Territory's population of 244,000 (2016) makes it the least populous of Australia's 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.The British were the first Europeans to attempt to settle the coastal regions.After three failed attempts to establish a settlement (1824–1828, 1838–1849, and 1864–66), success was achieved in 1869 with the establishment of a settlement at Port Darwin.In 1974, from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, the city of Darwin, Northern Territory, was devastated by tropical Cyclone Tracy.Cyclone Tracy killed 71 people, caused A7 million in damage (1974 dollars), or approximately A.45 billion (2014 dollars), and destroyed more than 70 percent of Darwin's buildings, including 80 per cent of houses.After the war, control for the entire area was handed back to the Commonwealth. It was the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia.Evidence of Darwin’s World War II history is found at a variety of preserved sites in and around the city, including ammunition bunkers, airstrips, oil tunnels and museums.In 1978 the Territory was granted responsible government, with a Legislative Assembly headed by a Chief Minister.The Administrator of the Northern Territory is an official acting as the Queen's indirect representative in the Territory.