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Community, Business and Visitor Guide

Barkly Local History

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The Barkly region is located in the Northern Territory of Australia, covering an area of 322,000 square kilometers. The region is home to a diverse landscape, ranging from grassy plains to rugged mountains, and it has been inhabited for thousands of years.

Indigenous History

The Barkly region has a rich indigenous history, as it has been home to the Warumungu, Gudanji and Jingili people for tens of thousands of years. These groups are some of the oldest living cultures in the world and have traditional knowledge and beliefs that have been passed down through generations.

The Warumungu people have a deep connection to the land and its resources. They used the bark of the corkwood tree as a source of medicine, while the roots of the corkwood were used to make fire sticks. The Gudanji people also had a great knowledge of the natural environment, particularly the water sources, which they used for drinking, cooking and washing.

European Settlement

The first Europeans to explore the Barkly region were explorers John Stuart and Augustus Gregory in the 1850s. However, it wasn't until the 1860s that European settlement began, with the establishment of the Newcastle Waters and Brunette Downs cattle stations.

The region was named after Henry Barkly, the Governor of Victoria, who visited the area in the late 1800s. The town of Tennant Creek was also established in this period, as a service center for the surrounding cattle stations and gold mines.

Gold Mining

The discovery of gold in the Barkly region led to a significant increase in population and economic growth. The first gold was discovered in 1926 at the Tennant Creek goldfield, and this led to a gold rush, with thousands of people flocking to the area in search of riches.

Several gold mines were established in the region, including the Nobles Nob, Warrego, and White Devil mines. Mining continued in the area until the 1980s, with the last major mine closing in 1989.

Recent Times

The Barkly region has undergone significant changes in recent times, with new industries and developments. The region is now home to several indigenous communities, including Wilyuku, Elliott and Ampilatwatja.

The cattle industry remains an important part of the region's economy, with several cattle stations in the area. The region is also home to several national parks, including the Davenport Ranges National Park and the Limmen National Park, which attract tourists with their stunning landscapes and wildlife.

History of in Barkly

The history of the Barkly region is diverse and rich, reflecting its indigenous heritage and its European settlement. From the early days of cattle stations and gold mines to the more recent developments, the region has continually evolved, adapting to new challenges and opportunities.

Today, the region offers a unique blend of indigenous culture, stunning natural landscapes, and economic opportunities, making it a vibrant and dynamic part of Australia's history and future.

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