Bees Creek, Northern Territory

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Bees Creek
DarwinNorthern Territory
Population 812 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1869
Postcode(s) 0822
LGA(s) Litchfield Municipality
Territory electorate(s) Goyder
Federal Division(s) Lingiari
Suburbs around Bees Creek:
Virginia McMinns Lagoon McMinns Lagoon
Southport Bees Creek Humpty Doo
Southport Southport Humpty Doo

Bees Creek is an outer rural area of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. It is 33 km southeast of the Darwin central business district. It is council seat of the local government area Litchfield Municipality, although most council facilities, public amenities and the actual Municipal offices are in the neighbouring locality of Freds Pass. Bees Creek is mostly rural, with large residential blocks often not served by town sewers or sealed roads. Nevertheless, the area is popular with those wishing to enjoy a rural lifestyle within an easy commuting distance of the city.


Settlement of the suburb as well as nearby Virginia began in 1869, after George Goyder surveyed the small area surrounding Virginia.

In 1915 a rail siding named Wishart Siding (also known as 22 mile, the distance from the railhead at Darwin) after a contractor who built the first rail jetty at Port Darwin, opened on the North Australia Railway was established at a site approximately 2 km (1.2 mi) from Bees Creek. The siding served primarily as an accommodation facility for railway maintenance gangs who worked the line south to the town of Adelaide River The camp was expanded with additional accommodation buildings between 1946 and 1949, and closed with the rest of the line in 1976. The entire precinct is now heritage listed for its architectural and historical significance to the line. It is the only facility remaining of its kind along the alignment of the former railway.[2][3]



The nearest GP clinics to Bees Creek are the Coolalinga Medical Centre, in Coolalinga and Arafura Medical Clinics in Humpty Doo.

There are no public hospitals in Bees Creek. Several pharmacies are located in surrounding suburbs. The rural area is serviced by the Palmerston Health Precinct which includes the Palmerston Community Care Centre, public dental service, St Johns' Ambulance and a Medical Specialists Clinic. Many of these services operate 24 hours.[4] The nearest Public Hospital is Royal Darwin Hospital.


There is one government primary school located in the suburb, Bees Creek Primary School catering to students from Transition to Year 6. the enrollment is drawn mainly from Bees Creek itself, as well as the neighbouring suburb of Virginia. The school opened in 1997, and also offers an after hours child minding service. The school motto is "Harmony through CARE". A pre-school is also located on the school grounds. Across the road is a child care centre, a facility utilised by many parents who commute to work in Darwin.[5]

Sattler Christian College, formerly known as Litchfield Christian School is a small private school located in Bees Creek, providing alternative -education for primary (Transition - Year 6) and middle school (Years 7 - 9) aged children. Total enrollment as of 2010 was 119 students. The school also provides a pre-school and after hours child care. The school motto is "Growing in Wisdom, Learning to Love". The principal is Mr. Colin Smith.[6]

There are no public middle or high schools located in Bees Creek, but Taminmin Middle School and Taminmin High School in Humpty Doo cater for students in years 7 - 12 who reside in Darwin's rural area.

Teritiary and Vocational education services are available through Charles Darwin University, with campuses in both Darwin and Palmerston.

Public transport[edit]

Darwinbus route 446 connects Bees Creek to the Palmerston Bus Interchange. The service operates Monday - Saturday, typically 2 or 3 times per day in each direction, with additional services provided during the school term. No service is provided on Sunday or Public Holidays.[7]

On the day of the 2011 census, only 2.0% of employed people travelled to work on public transport and 74.0% by car (either as driver or as passenger).[1]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Freds Pass Reserve is a sporting facility which serves the Litchfield Shire. Established in 1977,[8] it is home to 23 sporting and social clubs, and hosts many community events. The reserve hosts the annual Freds Pass Rural Show. Facilities on the site include a multi purpose indoor sports complex, office buildings for resident clubs, a caravan park, playing fields with night lighting, and a recently opened paintball complex.[9] There are also public barbecues, picnic areas and ablutions located on the reserve.


The Northern Territory Power and Water Corporation's McMinn Pumping Station is located adjacent to the Freds Pass Reserve. This facility was commissioned in 1965. It was expanded in 1983 with the addition of two vertical shaft-driven pumps.[10] The site consists of two pumping stations and a storage reservoir. The facility is supplies water to the entire Darwin and Palmerston metropolitan area. A recent $13 million overhaul of the facility was completed without interruption to the water supply.[11]


The Freds Pass Rural Show is held each May at the beginning of the dry season at Freds Pass Reserve. The event was first held in 1978 as a school fete and has continued grow over the years. In 2009, the show played host to over 200 exhibitors and attracted over 20,000 visitors.[8] The show celebrates and exhibits achievements in local agriculture, horticulture, sport and community endeavours, as well as featuring many sideshows, rides and demonstrations.[12]

The Rural Show attracts visitors from all over the Northern Territory, and is a family oriented event. The Northern Territory Government runs free busses to the reserve during the show.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 12°33′19″S 131°03′33″E / 12.555285°S 131.059105°E / -12.555285; 131.059105