About Katherine

The town of Katherine is the fourth largest in the Northern Territory, situated 320 kilometres south-east of Darwin on the beautiful Katherine River.

Katherine is often called the ‘Crossroads of the North’ as it is located on the junction of the Stuart Highway linking with the north and south and the Victoria Highway to Western Australia.

With a population of close to 10,000 people it is a thriving regional centre to an area as big as the state of Victoria, providing services to communities from the WA border to the Gulf of the NT.

Katherine boasts a modern shopping complex, new tourist information centre, boutique shopping, a cinema, modern motels, hotels, restaurants and café’s.

The town is a central base for all the major government providers including a modern hospital and air medical service, a large high school and five primary schools as well as the Katherine School of the Air, also known as the World’s Largest Schoolroom!

The Katherine Town Council operates two large sport and recreation facilities, the Katherine Sports Ground and Aquatic Centre and the Katherine Showgrounds Complex that are the focus area for a wide variety of sports activities all year.



The Katherine River was named by John McDouall Stuart, Explorer, in 1862, after the daughter of one of his sponsors, James Chambers.

The town of Katherine has had several locations since the days of the crossing of the Katherine River at Knott’s Crossing, made famous in Mrs Jeannie Gunn’s novel, ‘We of the Never Never’.

The overland telegraph and original post office were sited above Knott’s Crossing, adjacent to the ‘Sportsman’s Arms Hotel’. It had an overland telegraph quarters and single room Police Station.

With the completion of the railway bridge in 1926, the present site of Katherine, on the south-eastern side of the river, was gazetted on 15th July, 1926. The new area was presumed to be less flood prone.


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 area 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 the business community.



Living in Katherine