Katherine NT Australia





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Published on Apr 23, 2011

Katherine is a town situated 320 km southeast of Darwin in the "Top End" of the Northern Territory, Australia. At the 2001 census, Katherine had a population of 6,488. Set in promising grazing and future agricultural country, the town's main economic source has often been gold, but this has lessened after the closing of the mine at Mt Todd. There is increasing tourism and the RAAF Base Tindal 17 km southeast of town is also contributing to the economy. The town has several churches, sporting clubs, parks, a well kept golf course, and a showground.

The well known and spectacular Katherine Gorge in the Nitmiluk National Park near the town has many ancient rock paintings. These often become flooded during "the wet season" as the river can rise 18 m in the narrow passage. The Park features many activities such as camping, swimming, fishing (lures only), sightseeing, canoeing, boat cruises and bush walk trails. The town was given its name after the daughter of one of the sponsors of John McDouall Stuart who first saw the area in 1862. The original inhabitants of the area belong to the Jawoyn, Dagoman and Wardaman language groups.

Built environment
Springvale Homestead, built in 1879, is the oldest original homestead in the Northern Territory. The homestead was originally managed by Alfred Giles, an ex-Overland Telegraph linesman, but is now open to visitors. The Old Katherine Railway Station is another historic attraction that served Vestey’s Meatworks during their operation in Darwin and was a major hub of transport during World War II.

Another historic site is the O’Keeffe Residence. Originally built as a recreation hut in 1943 for army officers during the Second World War, it is a good example of local construction practice, using local materials like Cypress pine and corrugated iron.

Since the establishment of Nitmiluk National Park, Katherine has developed into a tourism destination. Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park attracts large numbers of visitors each year (232,000 in 2004-05).[3] The town is well-equipped with a shopping centre and other modern conveniences and services.



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