About the Museum

The Katherine Museum

The Katherine Museum has been in operation since 21 April 1985. We are a not for profit organisation, run by The Historical Society of Katherine Ltd. We are a very small team of hard-working staff and volunteers who are passionate about and proud of the remarkable history of our region. If you’re interested in getting involved with our museum, we would love to hear from you.

We rely on the support of our community and our visitors to stay open. We give a heartfelt thanks to our current sponsors, Katherine Town Council, The Katherine Club and the Northern Territory Government.

We also acknowledge and thank the many community members and families who have donated items to the Museum. We are so proud to hold your precious items and display them, so they’re shared with generations to come. The presentation and keeping of collections and objects proudly abides by recognised practices as set out by Museums Australia.

The Katherine Museum works in partnership with the Stolen Generation of Katherine to create a healing garden used on special occasions and for healing and reflection. We share many stories of our Traditional Custodians in our Clyde Fenton Gallery.

Please let us know how you found your visit to The Katherine Museum, either by speaking to us in person or by a review on Trip Advisor. We would also love to connect with you on our Facebook or Instagram pages with the hashtag #katherinemuseum.

History of the Museum Building and Aerodrome

This historical building was the passenger terminal and air radio building for the Katherine Aerodrome. It was used for 30 years from 1945 until the Aerodrome officially closed in 1975. Services were moved in that year to the present site at Tindal. However, this was not the first time the Aerodrome had been moved.

In 1919, the first airstrip was cleared near the Sportsman’s Hotel at Knott’s Crossing. Its intended use was for the England to Australia Air Race, but due to a change in route the aviators did not land there. However, it was used by Captain Wriggly and Sergeant Murphy, on December 10th 1919, whilst surveying the Australian section for the air race. This flight was the first Australian flight from South to North.

Late in 1919 a site was surveyed for an airstrip on the north side of the river at Emungalan. This was cleared and completed in 1923. Sir Alan Cobram KBE landed at this strip on his flight from England to Australia in 1926.

In 1920, the former Katherine Racecourse, the area in which this building stands was secured for the Katherine aerodrome. Clearing started in 1933 and when it was certified fit for use in 1934 the Emungalan strip was abandoned. From 1934, various improvements were carried out until 1940 when it was declared a subsidiary defence aerodrome to Darwin. The strip was then gravelled.

In 1924 the aerodrome was taken over by the Americans. The aerodrome was bombed by the Japanese during WWII. Later that year, the RAAF took control and DCA flight service commenced.

The runway was sealed in 1943 and the following year the transmitter building was constructed. This building was completed and operations were commenced in October 1945. The last aircraft officially used this aerodrome on the 10th January 1975.

The Museum

Located only 3km from the Katherine Post Office on the way to Katherine Gorge is the fascinating Katherine Outback Heritage Museum - a 'must see' tourist stop to visitors of this region. Share our yesterday’s today!

Get in touch

20 Christie Road
Katherine NT 0850

P. 08 8972 3945
F. 08 8972 3946
E. info@katherinemuseum.com.au

Opening Hours

Opening Hours.

The Katherine Museum is closed during the wetseason. Follow us on Facebook for updates on events and re-opening hours.
For large group bookings please call 0889 723 945. 
For updates, check our Facebook page.

 Admission Fees Apply