Katherine Region

About Katherine

There are 3 key Aboriginal groups of the Katherine area, these are the Dagoman, Jawoyn, Wardaman and people.


11158 (2016 Census)  

25.4% indigenous (2016 Census)


14°28′0″S 132°16′0″E


312kms South East of Darwin 1185kms North of Alice Springs 516kms East of Kununurra WA

Indigenous Languages spoken:

Main language Kriol (East & West) Also Walpiri, Gurrindji, Jawoyn, Mayali, Marra, Ngaringman, Nunggubuyu


Winter/dry season (May-Nov) Cool & dry average temp 15-33°C

Summer/Wet season (Dec-Apr) Hot & humid average temp 22-40°C 

Katherine, situated on the banks of the beautiful Katherine River has a history of flooding and suffered a flood in 1957 and flooding of the main street in 1974.  The 1998 Australia Day flood devastated the town of Katherine and was declared a National Disaster. Cyclone Les produced between 300 and 400 millimetres of rainfall during a 48 hour period. The Katherine River rose to 21.3 metres causing the evacuation of two thirds of the community and major devastation to business community.

Often called the “Crossroads of the North” because of its location, Katherine is the fourth largest town in the Northern Territory. Katherine is the main business hub for many surrounding Communities within a 700km radius. 



The Katherine Region is divided by 3 Regional Councils, Katherine Town Council, Roper Gulf Regional Council and Victoria Daly Regional Council.

Katherine Town Council

Come to where the outback meets the tropics and discover a region full of gorges and misty waterfalls, thermal springs and ancient culture.

With a population of 11,158 people Katherine is a modern thriving regional centre that offers a wide range of services to communities from the Western Australian border to the Gulf of Carpentaria on the Queensland border.

There is a modern airconditioned shopping centre, hospital, sportsgrounds, parks and gardens as well as a large number of Commonwealth and Territory Government services.

The municipality of Katherine covers a region of 7416km2 and is located on the beautiful Katherine River, offering excellent fishing, walking and cycling trails and recreational parks and reserves.

The Katherine region is 326,326km2, larger than the Australian state of Victoria. The total population of the region is just over 21,000 people of which 52% identify as Indigenous.

Roper Gulf Regional Council

Covers Gulf of Carpentaria to west of the Stuart Highway, from just north of Elliot to the southern edge of Kakadu, from the Queensland border to 100 km from the East Arnhem Coast.  The Roper Gulf Region stretches over 186 000 square kilometres. The overall land mass is greater than Tasmania and 80% of Victoria and is larger than many small nation states.

The key towns/communities of the Roper Gulf Region are:

Borroloola, Ngukurr, Numbulwar, Beswick (Wugularr), Barunga, Bulman, Jilkminggan, Minyerri, Mataranka, Manyallaluk, Robinson River, Urapunga, Daly Waters & Larrimah.

There are 22 Outstations and 50 pastoral properties and a number of major roadhouses in the Roper Gulf Region.

Roper Gulf has five wards each being represented by elected Councillors

Victoria Daly Regional Council

Covers many small communities and towns including the northern communities of Pine Creek and Nauiyu (Daly River) as well as the southern communities of Timber Creek. Bulla, Lajamanu, Kildurk (Mialuni), Kalkarindji, Pidgeon Hole (Nitjpurra) and Yarralin – make up the Victoria Daly Regional Council which forms part of the Big Rivers region covering a total area of 360,873 km2.


Permit Information

If you are travelling to the town of Katherine you do not need a permit but if you are traveling around the Katherine region, or onto an Indigenous community, you MUST apply for a permit through the Northern Land Council.

Northern Land Council – T 08 89719 899 Northern Land Council


Aboriginal Health Controlled Organisations

Katherine West Health Board (KWHB)

Sunrise Health Service

Wurli Wurlinjang Aboriginal Health Service 

Gudbinji Health Service


NT Government Services

Katherine Regional Hospital is a 60 bed regional hospital where over 70 percent of admitted patients are Aboriginal. Health services include ED, surgical and medical care, paediatrics and obstetrics.


Private Practices

There are very limited GP services for the mainstream population. 


Visiting Services

There are various visiting Allied Health Services that utilise this building on a regular basis.

  • Optometrists
  • Sleep Ezy Consultant
  • Healthcare Consumer Consultant
  • Stepping Stones in Life Therapy
  • Audiologist

PHN Funded Programs in the Katherine region

ITC, After Hours, Outreach, Headspace, Suicide Prevention, AOD, SEWB.

Staying overnight and Local Attractions

Knott’s Crossing Resort The motel rooms and cabins are spacious, clean and functional. There is a good restaurant and pool area. 

ibis Styles Katherine is part of the ACCOR Chain group and each guest room features comfortable bedding, a modern ensuite, air-conditioning, coffee and tea making facilities, and an LCD TV with two free in-house movie channels.

Beagle Motor Inn Clean, comfortable and affordable motel style rooms only walking distance to town centre. NEW Seafood & Steak Restaurant!


Please see map:

Meeting Rooms

There are a variety of meeting rooms available for different types of audiences. 

Flinders University – There are two rooms available. One small courtyard room with VC facilities which seats 14 people comfortably. The larger Clinical Education room has state of the art IT equipment with two large drop-down screen controlled from a lectern. This room suits large forums and meetings. A booking form needs to be completed via Katherine Coordinator and photos are available on request.

Ibis – One small meeting room and catering provided on request. However the disability access is not good and so this room is not recommended. 

Knotts Crossing – One medium size room available via booking system.

Godinymayin Arts & Culture Centre – The Centre caters for large functions and has a small kitchenette. 

MLA Sandra Nelsons office – A medium size room available to the public and can seat up to 15 people.


Things to do & see

The Katherine River – just a two minute stroll from the resort.

Katherine Gorge – highlight attraction in Katherine.

Edith Falls – great for swimming and snorkelling.

Katherine Hot Springs – highly recommended.

Top Didge Cultural Experience – great Indigenous experience.

Mimi Arts & Crafts – Aboriginal owned & operated.

Godminyamin Arts & Culture Centre – Exhibitions & entertainment shows.

Finch Café – Best healthy eating place in town.

Visitors Information Centre – Brochures, Tour bookings & Black Russian Coffee van.

katherineoutbackexperience – Featuring two-time Australian Country Music Golden Guitar winner & horseman extraordinaire, Tom Curtain 1.5 or 2 hour shows


NTGPE acknowledge and thank NT Primary Health Network (NTPHN) ntphn.org.au for providing the content for this community profile.