Palmerston

Palmerston is a planned satellite city of Darwin, the capital and largest city in Australia's Northern Territory. Situated near Darwin Harbour, Palmerston had a population of 27,618 at the 2011 census, making it the smaller of the two cities in the sparsely populated Northern Territory. Palmerston is currently the fastest growing locality in the Northern Territory and has briefly in the past held the title of the fastest growing city in Australia.

Where is it?: Palmerston is situated between the outer industrial areas of Darwin and the rural areas of Howard Springs. The city is located between the outer industrial areas of Darwin and the rural areas of Howard Springs, 21 kilometres  south-east of Darwin.

Transport: The city has a network of approximately 32 km of bicycle paths, most of which are lit for night-time usage. There is also a public bus service operated by Darwinbus that offers transportation around Palmerston, into Darwin City and out to Darwin's Northern Suburbs. Darwin City Airport is the closest air terminal. The airport is located in the Darwin suburb of Marrara, approximately 20 minutes away from Palmerston.

There are eighteen suburbs in Palmerston, ten of which are close to the Palmerston city centre. Palmerston is mostly residential with two light industrial areas in the north of the city.

Like the rest of the Top End, Palmerston has a tropical climate, with a wet season and a dry season. It receives heavy rainfall during the Wet, and is well known for its spectacular lightning.

Palmerston was the name chosen in 1864 for the capital of the Northern Territory by the South Australian Government (which was then responsible for its administration) in recognition of Lord Palmerston, who became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1855. The first site, as chosen by Boyle Travers Finniss at Escape Cliffs near the mouth of the Adelaide River, on the coast of Adam Bay on the western side of the Cape Hotham peninsula in 1864, was abandoned in 1867 and a second laid out by Surveyor-General George Goyder near Port Darwin in 1869. The town was officially renamed Darwin in April 1911 after responsibility for the Northern Territory passed to the Commonwealth of Australia.


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The land for a new satellite city of Darwin was acquired in 1971 by the Australian government after concerns of under-supply of residential land in Darwin. Development of Palmerston began during the early 1980s. Suburbs of Palmerston were built in stages. The first suburbs built were Gray and Driver, followed by Moulden, then Woodroffe and Marlow Lagoon. The urban area continued to grow throughout the 1990s, with the new suburbs of Bakewell, Rosebery and Durack. The population growth of Palmerston continues to be the highest in the Northern Territory.

Since 1995/1996 the construction commenced on 5 new Palmerston suburbs, Rosebery, Bakewell, Durack, Gunn, and Farrar. These were developed in stages with only the final stages of new Palmerston suburbs yet to begin. In 2000 the Palmerston Town Council sought and obtained a change in the name of the municipality to City of Palmerston.

Palmerston is approximately a 15 minute drive away from the Darwin city centre, 15–18 minutes from Darwin's Northern suburbs and 10 – 20 minutes from Howard Springs and the rural area.

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