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For Top End House Sitting, Go To The Northern Territory

It's also called the Top End but the Northern Territory in Australia has more than just geography to merit that nickname.

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There are less than 250,000 people living in a vast area of almost 1.5 million square kilometres. Scattered all over this huge expanse are awesome wetlands, protected areas like the Kakadu National Park, the Tanami Desert, a network of rivers, mountain ranges, iron-ore mines, sacred Aboriginal grounds, and iconic images of the country, like Ayers Rock in Uluru.

About half of the state's population lives in its capital, Darwin, with the rest in main population centres being Palmerston and Alice Springs. Unlike other states in Australia where populations mostly inhabit coastal areas, homes in the Northern Territory are concentrated along the Stuart Highway which connects the state with South Australia.

When you're not house sitting, there's a lot to keep you busy in the Northern Territory. You can go on a 4WD safari in Kakadu, cruise along the crocodile-infested wetlands of the Mary River, soak in the culture of Aboriginal peoples and admire their ancient rock art. If you want to see beyond your horizon, go up in a hot air balloon in Alice Springs at sunrise. You'll float over the barren Outback and marvel over this inspiring landscape with its unique wildlife. For more nature tripping, go swimming in the pools at Edith Falls and hiking along the Leliyn Trail. Or, brave a trip to see the 215-drop of Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls.

In Darwin, on Thursdays and Sundays, join half of the city at Mindil Beach for a foodfest of Asian, South American, Greek, Portuguese cuisine, and more while weaving through stalls of handmade jewelry, native artifacts, and live pulsating music. You can also visit the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory which showcases an Aboriginal art collection such as carvings, dot paintings and bark art. There you can sit spellbound listening to a recording of the sound of Cyclone Tracy, and gaze at the display of stuffed animals like “Sweetheart”, a saltwater croc that's 5 metres long and weighs 780 kg.

There's a lot more to impress you in Darwin, from outdoor cinema exhibitions, cozy cafes and restaurants, a flashy casino, bars, clubs and art centres. Whatever you need to spice up your house sitting assignment in the Northern Territory, you can be sure it's going to be first-class and top end.

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