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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
  • (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
  • (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
  • (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
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.