Cobourg Peninsula

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Official nameCobourg Peninsula
Designated30 March 1992
Reference no.545[1]
Image of Cobourg Peninsula
with Croker Island top right
Cape Don Light at the western end of Cobourg Peninsula

The Cobourg Peninsula is located 350 kilometres (217 mi) east of Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia. It is deeply indented with coves and bays, covers a land area of about 2,100 square kilometres (811 sq mi), and is virtually uninhabited with a population ranging from about 20 to 30 in five family outstations, but without any notable settlement or village. It is separated from Croker Island in the east by Bowen Strait, which is 2.5 kilometres (1.3 nmi; 1.6 mi) wide in the south and up to 7 kilometres (3.8 nmi; 4.3 mi) in the north, and 8.5 kilometres (4.6 nmi; 5.3 mi) long. In the west, it is separated from Melville Island by Dundas Strait. From Cape Don, the western point of the peninsula, to Soldier Point in the east of Melville Island, the distance is 28 kilometres (17 mi). In the north is the Arafura Sea, and in the south the Van Diemen Gulf. The highest elevation is Mount Roe in the south with an altitude of 160 metres (525 ft).


All of Cobourg Peninsula is part of Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, which also encompasses a few nearshore islands. Mostly a tourist attraction, it is known for its pristine wilderness. It is home to a large variety of sea life and the world's largest herd of pure-strain banteng (wild cattle). It is also renowned for its Aboriginal culture. While it is only sparsely inhabited today, it was once the site of two failed attempts at founding a major trading port on its northern shores, Fort Wellington at Raffles Bay (1827-1829) and Fort Victoria at Port Essington (1838-1849), the ruins of which are still accessible today.


There are no notable settlements or villages on Cobourg Peninsula, just a few family outstations and other establishments along or close to the north coast, from west to east:[2][3]

  • Cape Don Light (lighthouse)
  • Cape Don Airport (ICAO Code YCPD) (grass airfield 1800 m, opened 8 Nov 1989)
  • Araru Point (Araru) (family outstation)
  • Ardbinae (Adbanae, Trepang Bay) (family outstation)
  • Port Essington (Victoria Settlement) (former European settlement)
  • Gumuragi (Gumeragi, Reef Point) (family outstation)
  • Algarlalgari (Black Point) (ranger station)
  • Ngardimardi (Smith Point) (camping area)
  • Gul Gul (Danger Point) (abandoned family outstation, ruins)
  • Meriah (Mariah, Raffles Bay) (family outstation)
  • Irgul (Irgul Point) (family outstation)

The closest village is Minjilang on Croker Island close east.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cobourg Peninsula". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 March 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 May 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Coordinates: 11°22′S 132°18′E / 11.367°S 132.300°E / -11.367; 132.300