RDA Northern TerritoryCommunity profile

2016 Census data has been released and we are busy processing it to update this website. View our latest releases here.

Skip to content

West Daly Regional Council LGA

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for West Daly Regional Council LGA is 3,363, with a population density of 0.00 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

The West Daly Regional Council area is located in the north-western section of the Northern Territory, between 300 and 420 kilometres south-west of the Darwin CBD. The West Daly Regional Council area is bounded by Unincorporated Northern Territory in the north, the Victoria Daly Regional Council area in the east and south, and the Timor Sea in the west.

Name origin

The West Daly Regional Council is named for its location – to the west of the Daly River.

Settlement history

Traditionally, indigenous people lived in the area, and continue to do, mainly in small communities. European settlement dates from the 1870s, with land used mainly for cattle grazing. A mission was established at Wadeye (Port Keats) in 1935. The community of Peppimenarti was established in 1974. The community of Palumpa was established in the 1980s when a cattle station began operations, originally as an offshoot of the Port Keats Mission, later becoming a private company. The population of the Council area fluctuated slightly during the 1990s, and then increased from 2001, rising from about 2,200 to about 3,000 in 2011.

Land use

The West Daly Regional Council area is mainly rural, with three small indigenous communities at Palumpa (Nganmarriyanga), Peppimenarti (Peppi) and Wadeye (Port Keats), and numerous outstations. The majority of the population is Aboriginal. The Council area encompasses a total land area of about 14,000 square kilometres.


The Council area is served by Port Keats Road and airfields at Palumpa, Peppimenarti and Port Keats (Wadeye).

Major features

Major features of the Council area include Durrmu Arts Aboriginal Corporation, Cape Scott and various beaches.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the West Daly area were various Aboriginal peoples who continue to live throughout the area and have strong traditional ties with the land.

Included areas

The West Daly Regional Council area includes the localities and communities of Nemarluk (part), Nganmarriyanga, Peppimenarti, Thamarrurr and Wadeye.


This region is Aboriginal freehold land held by the Daly River/Port Keats Aboriginal Land Trust (represented by the Northern Land Council).