Mataranka, Northern Territory

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Northern Territory
Mataranka is located in Northern Territory
Coordinates14°57′18″S 133°03′04″E / 14.9549°S 133.0512°E / -14.9549; 133.0512Coordinates: 14°57′18″S 133°03′04″E / 14.9549°S 133.0512°E / -14.9549; 133.0512 [1]
Population350 (2016 census)[2]
Established24 May 1928 (town)
4 April 2007 (locality)[3][1]
Time zoneACST (UTC+9:30)
LGA(s)Roper Gulf Region
Territory electorate(s)Barkly[4]
Federal Division(s)Lingiari[5]
Mean max temp[6] Mean min temp[6] Annual rainfall[6]
33.9 °C
93 °F
19.6 °C
67 °F
859.5 mm
33.8 in
Localities around Mataranka:
Elsey Elsey Elsey
Elsey Mataranka Elsey
Elsey Elsey Elsey
FootnotesAdjoining localities[7][8]

Mataranka is a town and locality in the Northern Territory of Australia located about 420 km (260 mi.) southeast of the territory capital of Darwin, and 107 km (66 mi.) south of Katherine. At the 2016 census, Mataranka recorded a population of 350. 29.5% of residents are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

The town is located near Roper River and Mataranka Hot Springs. This area is the setting for Jeannie Gunn's autobiographical account of the year 1902, We of the Never Never. The homestead, which she shared with her husband, Aeneas Gunn, until his death, has been reconstructed near to the hot springs.

The Mataranka Station is part of the Katherine Rural College of Charles Darwin University.



The name Mataranka means "home of the snake" in the Yangmanic language of the aboriginal people who inhabit the area.[citation needed] The name was given to a sheep farm around 1915 by John A. Gilruth, who was the Administrator of the Northern Territory at that time.[citation needed] The town of Mataranka was first gazetted on 24 May 1928 after the arrival of the North Australia Railway.[citation needed] The locality of Mataranka, which include the town and surrounding land were re-gazetted on 4 April 2007.[3][9][1]

World War II[edit]

The Australian Army set up No. 42 Australian Camp Hospital near Mataranka. The 10th Australian Advanced Ordnance workshops camped in buildings made from paper bark trees and serviced wrecked and damaged vehicles. An ammunition depot was also in the locality. These depots were served by railway sidings off the main line.


Mataranka was served by the original narrow gauge railway that closed in 1976 after cyclone damage. The new standard gauge railway opened in 2003. It passes about 20 km. to the west of the town.


  1. ^ a b c "Place Names Register Extract for Mataranka (locality)". NT Place Names Register. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  2. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Mataranka (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 January 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ a b Howse, Neville (24 May 1928). "PROCLAMATION (re the Town of Mataranka)". Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (48). Australia, Australia. p. 991. Retrieved 27 April 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "Division of Daly". Northern Territory Electoral Commission. 2018-05-15. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Federal electoral division of Lingiari". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Summary statistics LARRIMAH (nearest weather station)". Bureau of Meterology, Australian government. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Mataranka (locality)". NT Atlas and Spatial Data Directory. Northern Territory Government. February 2005. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Roper Gulf Shire (map)" (PDF). Northern Territory Government. 2 April 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Place Names Register Extract for Mataranka (village)". NT Place Names Register. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 27 April 2019.

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