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 (1824–28, 1838–49, and 1864–66), 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 Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park (Ayers Rock) in central Australia, and mining.
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of 105,991, making it by far the most populated city in the sparsely peopled Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities.
The city itself is built on a low bluff overlooking the harbour. Its suburbs are spread out over some area, generally considered to begin at Lee Point in the north and end at Berrimah in the east – past Berrimah, the Stuart Highway goes on to Darwin's satellite city, Palmerston, and its suburbs.
The original inhabitants of the greater Darwin area are the Larrakia people. On 9 September 1839, the HMS Beagle sailed into Darwin harbour during its surveying of the area. John Clements Wickham named the region "Port Darwin" in honour of a former shipmate, famed scientist Charles Darwin.