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Adelaide River, NT

Charlie the Buffalo, from the movie
Crocodile Dundee, presides over the proceedings at the bar of the Adelaide River Inn

Adelaide River War Cemetery

Historical railway bridge, completed in 1888 as part of the North Australian Railway

Original NSU class locomotive outside the restored railway station of the Adelaide River Heritage Centre (closed during the wet season). The locomotive was built by Birmingham Railway Carriage & Waggon Co., England. It entered service in 1955 and was withdrawn in 1982.
Though an original Ghan locomotive, NSU 63 never saw service at Adelaide River, as it only operated on the old narrow gauge Ghan line which stopped at Alice Springs.

Renowned for the fresh barramundi served at the hotel on the banks of the river, Adelaide River is a small town where the Stuart Highway crosses the Adelaide River. It lies some 200 km north-east of Katherine and 112km south of Darwin.

Though only a very small community, Adelaide River is well worth stopping at to break a road journey between Katherine and Darwin. The town played an important role in the war effort between 1942 and 1945 as a military base and site of the 107th Australian General Hospital and 119th Australian General Hospital.
Adelaide River
Inn is home of Charlie the Buffalo, from the movie Crocodile Dundee. Charlie (that's his stage name; his real name was Nick) lived a happy retired life in a paddock next to the Inn until 2001 when he vacated it for greener pastures. When passers-by asked where Charlie had got to the reply was "Oh, he has moved to the bar now ..." where he remains to this day in all his glory, but unfortunately no longer alive. Adelaide River Inn is a great place for lunch.

Where is it?: Northern Territory: Top End

Things to see and do:

Grove Hill Heritage and Museum is housed in a residence built entirely from recycled materials during the depression. The museum is open daily 6 am to 2 pm.

Mount Bundy Station, 3 km north of the town, is a great spot for fishing, walking and swimming.

Robin Falls is situated off the Stuart Highway. There is a pleasant 15 minute walk to view the falls.

The historical military base of Snake Creek Armament Depot still stands. Entry requires permit from Northern Land Council as is on Aboriginal Lands.

The Adelaide River Railway Siding and Railway Bridge, which are now part of Adelaide River Heritage Centre, were constructed as part of the first leg of the North Australia Railway (NAR) which operated from 1888 until 1976. The centre has an excellent collection of The Ghan railway memorabilia.

The Adelaide River War Cemetery is the third largest war cemetery in Australia. 434 servicemen and 54 civilians who were killed by Japanese air-raids in Darwin during World War II were laid to rest here. During the war, The 107th Australian General Hospital and 119th Australian General Hospital were set up around Adelaide River.


  • Adelaide River NT Country Music Talent Quest (every June)
  • Adelaide River Races (every August)

About Adelaide River

The Adelaide River Railway Siding was the first main Station complex on the North Australian Railway line. During World War II it was of major significance as Adelaide River was an important military centre, with the main hospital situated north of the township along with a number of Australian and Allied bases in the area.
The Adelaide River Railway Bridge was one of the first main bridges to be constructed on the Palmerston to Pine Creek railway line (known as the North Australian Railway) and was one of the largest bridges on the line. Constructed in 1887-88 the bridge was first crossed on 3rd December 1888. The last train crossed the bridge on 30th June 1976, after which it was used for road traffic until the Edwin Verburg Bridge was opened on 27th March 1980.

History: Adelaide River was settled by the telegraph workers who arrived in the area to construct the Overland Telegraph Line. The discovery of gold at Pine Creek in 1892 had a major impact on the settlement.
In 1886 a contract was signed to build a railway between Palmerston (Darwin) and the goldfields at Pine Creek, Northern Territory. By April 1888 the railway had reached Adelaide River and for many years was a refuelling point for The train on the journey north to Darwin. The North Australian Railway was always intended to be linked to the original Ghan line from Adelaide to Alice Springs, but this never happened.
It was not until February 2004, when a new standard gauge line from Tarcoola, SA
(a siding on the Trans-Australian Railway) to Darwin was completed, that The Ghan finally made it to Adelaide River. The town is not a regular stopping place for the new train, however it does pass through the town's siding on track laid alongside the original line.
During World War II, there were up to 30,000 Australian Army and United States soldiers based near the town. An ammunition dump, including a spur railway line, was established at Snake River, 3.2 km to the north. Whilst the facility became operational towards the end of the war, it was too late to be useful in the war effort.

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Adelaide River
Adelaide River Township

Where Is It?: Northern Territory: Top End