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Northern Territory

Northern Territory History Timeline

BC - 1700's
  • (60,000BC) Aborigines settled the region
  • (1700s) Makassan traders began trading with the indigenous people of the Northern Territory
1800's
  • (1824) Captain James Gordon Bremer established Fort Dundas on Melville Island
  • (1838) Britain makes a third attempt at settling the Northern Territory by establishing Fort Victoria at Port Essingtonon
  • (1862) John McDouall Stuart traverses central Australia, from north to south, mapping out part of the Northern Territory, and setting up a lead for the Australian Overland Telegraph Line
  • (1863) South Australia takes control of the Northern Territory away from New South Wales
  • (1869) Port Darwin settlement established
  • (1870s) First telegraph pole erected
  • (1872) Uluru and Kata Tjuta mapped by Europeans
  • (1875) SS Gothenburg headed for Adelaide hits a reef amidst severe storms killing 102
1900's
  • (1911) The Northern Territory is split off from South Australia, and is placed under Commonwealth control
  • (1918) The Darwin Rebellion takes place, 1,000 demonstrators demand Administrator John A. Gilruth resign
  • (1926-1931) The Northern Territory was briefly divided into North Australia and Central Australia
  • (1932-1934) Caledon Bay crisis mark a turning point in relations between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians
  • (1939-1945) World War II
  • (1942) Japanese air raids attack nearly 100 sites in the Northern Territory, bomb Darwin
  • (1967) Aborigines recognized as Australian citizens and granted the right to vote
  • (1974) Cyclone Tracy ravages Darwin
  • (1978) Legislative Assembly created and the Northern Territory becomes a self-government
  • (1980) Baby Azaria Chamberlain killed by a dingo at Ayers Rock
  • (1995) Voluntary euthanasia is briefly legalized
2000's
  • (2003) Transcontinental railway from Adelaide to Darwin completed
  • (2011) Sally Thomas becomes first female Administrator of the Northern Territory
  • (2012) 11 years of Labour Party ruling comes to an end as Terry Mills defeats Paul Henderson in the Northern Territory General Election

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.