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Barkly Regional Council LGA

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for Barkly Regional Council LGA is 7,530, with a population density of 0.00 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

The Barkly Regional Council area is located in the eastern section of the Northern Territory, about 1,000 kilometres south of the Darwin CBD. The Barkly Regional Council area is bounded by the Roper Gulf Regional Council area in the north, the State of Queensland in the east, the Central Desert Regional Council area in the south and south-west, and the Victoria Daly Regional Council area in the north-west.

Name origin

Barkly Regional Council is named after the Barkly Tableland, which was named after Sir Henry Barkly, Governor of Victoria 1856-1863.

Settlement history

Traditionally, indigenous people lived in the area, and continue to do so, mainly in small communities. European settlement dates from 1872, when a repeater station for the Overland Telegraph Line was built at Tennant Creek, although the area was first explored in 1861. Population was minimal, with land used mainly for pastoral purposes. The township of Tennant Creek was established in 1934, when the area became the focus of a gold rush, with silver and copper mining developing later. Growth followed, with gold mining becoming a major industry. The most significant development occurred from the post-war years, particularly around Tennant Creek from the late 1970s. The population fluctuated slightly during the 1990s, and then was relatively stable between 2001 and 2011 at about 7,500 people.

Land use

The Barkly Regional Council area is predominantly rural. The main township is Tennant Creek, with a small township at Elliott, and various smaller townships and indigenous communities. More than half of the population are Aboriginal. Rural land is used mainly for cattle grazing, with mining also being an important industry. The Council area encompasses a total land area of over 323,000 square kilometres.


The Barkly Regional Council area is served by the Barkly Highway, the Stuart Highway and Tennant Creek Airport.

Major features

Major features of the Council area include Iytwelepenty/Davenport Ranges National Park, Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, Connells Lagoon Conservation Reserve, The Pebbles/Kunjarra, Attack Creek Historical Reserve, Barrow Creek Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, Tennant Creek Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, Barkly Tableland, Battery Hill Mining Centre, Lake Woods, Longreach Waterhole, Tarrabool Lake, Lake Mary Ann, Lake Sylvester, Lake Corella, Lake Deburgh, Bill Allen Lookout, Charles Darwin University (Tennant Creek Centre), Tennant Creek Hospital, Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre, Arlpwe Art & Culture Centre, Jubilee Park, Pilgrim Park, Purkiss Memorial Reserve, historic Tuxworth Fullwood House and Tennant Creek Golf Club.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Barkly Regional Council area were the Waramungu Aboriginal people.

Included areas

The Barkly Regional Council area includes the localities, townships and communities of Ali Curung, Alpurrurulam, Ampilatwatja, Anmatjere (part), Canteen Creek, Costello, Creswell, Davenport, Elliott, McArthur (part), Newcastle Waters, Nicholson, Pamayu, Ranken, Sandover (part), Tablelands, Tanami East, Tara, Tennant Creek, Waramungu and Wutungurra.


Much of this area is Aboriginal freehold land held by the Central Land Council.