Savanna Explorer > Darwin-Kakadu

Darwin-Kakadu region


This region includes the coastal country and woodlands stretching from Darwin to Kakadu National Park in the Top End of the Northern Territory. It also includes the coastal region south-west of Darwin and the spectacular escarpment country of Kakadu-Katherine Gorge-western Arnhem Land.

Mining and tourism

Covering slightly more than 100,000 square kilometres, this is one of the more densely populous regions of the tropical savannas and holds its second-largest city, Darwin. Major income-generating industries are mining and tourism and major land uses are pastoralism and nature reserves.


The Darwin-Kakadu area is one of the most northerly regions of the tropical savannas where periodic summer storms and tropical cyclones deliver most of the annual rain. Average temperatures inland at this time are 36oC with a cooler 33o C or less along the coast. The dry winter season is generally rainless with mild to warm days. Average minimum temperatures in July are between 15 and 21o C with the cooler temperatures being experienced inland and to the south.

Biogeographic Region

This area is defined by the biogeographic regions Pine Creek Arnhem, Daly basin and the western part of Top End Coastal. For more information on the biogeographic regions on this map go to ERIN's Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia (IBRA), website link below.

Population snapshot


 Total Population

 Indigenous Population




 Palmerston (East Arm)









Table is based on 2001 Census Urban Centre and Locality figures

The population figures above are based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics census of 2001 which is conducted in early August. These more standardised Urban Centres and Localities figures replace earlier ones on this site based on Statistical Local Areas and Census Collection Districts.

The population of the whole region is reasonably high for such a small area at over 100,000 and is concentrated in the north-west corner, around Darwin and Palmerston. A major factor in the high growth rate for Palmerston recently has been the influx of Armed Forces personnel. The populations for the other major towns are also listed.

  Darwin-Kakadu land use

Land use

The major land uses in terms of area are Aboriginal land, pastoralism and nature reserves. This region has a relatively high proportion of nature reserve area because of the large size of Kakadu National Park.

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