Katherine Today

Katherine is an attractive modern town situated by the permanent waters of the Katherine River, 320 km down the Stuart Highway from Darwin.

Traditionally it has been the service town for the large pastoral properties of the “Top End”. Cattle raising and horse breeding have long been important industries of the area. More recently Katherine has also become an important agricultural centre for both cropping and market gardening.

Tourism has rapidly increased and is today Katherine’s largest industry.

Katherine is where the outback meets the tropics and you will discover a region full of gorges and misty waterfalls, thermal springs and ancient cultures. Explorer John McDouall Stuart passed through the region in 1862 and named the river ‘Katherine’ after the daughter of his sponsor, James Chambers. Her name was actually spelt with a ‘C’, it was never changed.

Katherine is also the closest town to the RAAF Base Tindal, which is located 17km southeast and provides services and employment opportunities for the families of Defence personnel stationed there.

Katherine is often called the “crossroads of the North, as it links the North and South and the Victoria Highway to Western Australia. It is home to a strong and diverse community who are proud of the pioneer spirit that created the township and take delight in living in this spectacular part of the world!