Katherine: History


The first people to live in the Katherine region were the Jawoyan and the Dagomen aboriginal peoples who used to meet there along with the Walpiri and Wardiman tribes.

The town is situated 320 kilometres south-east of Darwin and was named Katherine by the explorer John McDouall Stuart on one of his expeditions in 1862.

The Overland Telegraph

A pastoralist by the name of James Chambers was obsessed with the idea of an overseas telegraph link between Australia and Europe. James Chambers sponsored John Stuart on several expeditions across the centre of Australia with the aim of the expeditions being the establishment of the Overland Telegraph. On the sixth expedition there was success. This communication system would connect Australia to the rest of the world. During the years 1870 - 1872 it was constructed between Port Augusta and Darwin. Katherine was on the route of the Overland Telegraph and a station was completed there in August 1872. The six room Telegraph Office was constructed from timber slabs with an iron roof. The Overland Telegraph contributed greatly to he history and success of Katherine.

The Town Site

The town site moved twice during its early development. Finally it was established in its current site in 1926. This was upon completion of the Katherine railway bridge - a job that took three years. The first train passed over the bridge on 26th January 1926. The railway line was then a narrow gauge railway. It was replaced in 2003 with a standard gauge railway track. The original track has since been lifted and removed.

World War Two

During World War Two the Australian army set up two hospitals in the Katherine area. On 22nd March 1942 Katherine suffered its sole air raid by a Japanese bomber. One man was killed.

Oldest Homestead

The oldest homestead in the Northern Territory can be found in Katherine. It was named Spring Hill by its builders Alfred Giles and Alfred Woods. The two Alfreds had come to the area in 1879 with the view to establish a pastoral empire.

The town's old aerodrome now houses the Katherine Museum and in this museum can be seen the Gypsy Moth plane used by the first "flying doctor", Dr. Clive Fenton.

The town now comprises 6,000 people and is the third largest town in the Territory. It is a key regional centre supporting cattle, agriculture, horticulture and tourism industries.







Travel Planning Necessities
World time zones, world weather, currency converter, language translator services.

Search over 25,000 hostels.

Trip Advisor Forum - Russia
The place to find information about Russia when you can't find it elsewhere.

Way To Russia
Another very good forum

Getting A Russian Visa
The process is explained

Trains between Moscow & Saint Petersburg
Explanation of the types of trains on that route.

Firmenny Trains
An explanation of what they are.

Moscow's Railway Stations
A map of their locations and proximities.

Learn How To Speak Russian
Free lessons.

Map of St. Petersburg
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Map of Moscow
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Moscow Times Newspaper
English version.

The Russia Club
A forum for all those interested in anything "Russian".

Russian Rail Timetable
It takes a bit of mastering but Ian managed it (eventually).

The Art Of Travel
Very interesting travel information for all locations.

Smart Traveller
Australian Government's site dealing with current travel advice.

Travel Independent
A site written by travellers for travellers. Lots of information.

Things To See And Do In ...
Alice Springs

History of ...
Alice Springs