The city is experiencing some growth issues – available space for construction is very limited due to the nearby military facilities (an heritage from WWII), the international airport, and strict rules protecting coastal zones. To overcome this, a new suburb is being built about 15 km from the center. Most people live in the suburbs already, as the real-state prices in the city are very high – although they have been declining fast for the past months (maybe the bubble has exploded).
John Wickman, captain of HMS Beagle (Charles Darwin ship) baptized the port in 1839 (originating later the name of the city) in honor of its former shipmate. As far as I know, Charles Darwin was never actually here.
Darwin was used by the allies in WWII for storing vast quantities of oil. When the Japanese bombed the city in 1942, it was completely unprepared for an air strike. The bombings continued for months, until the Japanese were forced to fall back due to military losses in other areas of the pacific war zone. Every year, the date of the 1st attack (the Australian Pearl Harbor) is remembered in the city.
Being in a tropical zone, cyclones are somewhat common. In 1974, cyclone Tracy devastated the city, destroying about 70% of all houses, and causing a mass evacuation – more than half of the population left and didn’t came back.
Even today, the northern area of Australia is clearly not yet tamed by human – a few days ago, a crocodile was caught not far from a public school (and let’s not forget this menacing beast!). On the other hand, the national parks around here are among the most beautiful in Australia. More on that later.