Pine Creek, the Gateway to Kakadu National Park, is situated at the junction of the Stuart and Kakadu Highway. Just an easy two hour drive south of Darwin and only one hour north of Katherine, Pine Creek is one of the Northern Territory’s oldest towns.
Pine Creek is a small northern community in the Victoria Daly Regional Council. It is a tough resilient community that has faced a cyclical history of boom and bust.
Over the past century, Pine Creek has been a significant player in the economic life of the Top End, with housing and community service infrastructure in the town expanding in step with mining activity.
Pine Creek owes its existence to the Pine Creek Geosyncline, a giant intrusion of mineral rich ore seams. It extends northwest from Pine Creek to just south of Adelaide River. This rich ore body has been slowly eroding over the aeons, depositing traces of alluvial minerals throughout the region, in creeks, rivers and flood plains.
It was the discovery of alluvial gold in these deposits by construction workers on the Overland Telegraph Line in 1870 that led to the Development of Pine Creek. Pine Creek still relies on mining for its survival with the majority of the population involved in mining or related industries.
Tourism has recently developed into an important part of the town’s economy as facilities for travellers have improved. It is part of the Victoria Daly Regional Council and includes surrounding outstations and Kybrook Farm, an Aboriginal community of around 80 people from various tribal groups.
The Pine Creek bioregion has a tropical monsoonal climate. Around 90% of annual rainfall occurs during the wet season between November and March. Spatially averaged median rainfall is 1214 mm.
The Pine Creek area has a total of 56.75 km of sealed and unsealed roads. Access to Pine Creek Township is via the Stuart Hwy. Excluding natural disasters, such as flooding; this access is all year round.
Access to Kybrook Community is via Umbrawarra Rd. This is accessible all year round and is occasionally subject to some flooding, which recedes quickly.
There are no registered airstrips in the Pine Creek area. In an emergency, small planes can access the McDonald Airstrip, 15 kms from town.
Pre European settlement, the Pine Creek area was home to the people of Wagaman, Asgicondi, Arigoola, and Jawoyn.
Surveys have indicated that the largest known complex of Aboriginal quarries in the Northern Territory was established in the region.
There are also a number of recorded Aboriginal sacred sites within the area. The language groups of this area are Myili, Jawoyn, Wagiman and English.