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Connection to country

The Larrakia people are the traditional owners of Palmerston.


Palmerston was the name chosen in 1864 for the capital of the Northern Territory by the South Australian Government in recognition of Lord Palmerston, Prime Minister of the UK. After several site changes the capital was renamed Darwin in 1911. In 1980 the decision was made to go ahead with a new city in the Darwin area and for the third time the name Palmerston was chosen. The WWII Camp 16 Mile was a WWII military base located along the Stuart Highway. It now consists of a series of cement foundations that mark various buildings and constructions, gun pits (round dirt pits), dirt trenches, short fortifications built of local stone, two bottle dumps and latrines built of cement slabs ('Flaming Furies').

Family friendly

Darwin’s satellite city (population 39,587) boasts a friendly, relaxed and family orientated lifestyle and is an ideal destination for recreational, leisure and entertainment activities. The three main shopping centres include Woolworths, Coles, Big W and Top End's only Target, plus 75 specialty shops.

Palmerston Water Park offers a free fun way for the whole family to cool off. Featuring a 14-metrehigh, 100-metre-long, six-lane racer water slide and wet play areas for toddlers.

Howard Springs Nature Park is located 27 km southeast of Darwin, just outside Palmerston. Turn northeast off the Stuart Highway on to Howard Springs Road and follow it to the end. Picnic in a natural bush setting, let the kids explore the natural playground and cool off in the rockpools after walking through the monsoon forest. The spring-fed waterhole is a great place to birdwatch and spot fish and freshwater turtles. You can even hand-feed barramundi and turtles! (Mullet or squid is preferred. No bread please). Howard Springs Nature Park protects monsoon forest, paperbark swamps, spring-fed creeks and significant areas of Howard Sand Plains. Wildlife is prolific. You can spot Mertens’ water monitors lurking around and file snakes camouflaged in the waterhole.

Palmerston has over 100 parks scattered throughout the city, with a variety of modern facilities including playground equipment, BBQs and recreational facilities. Sanctuary Lakes is just one of those parks ideal for a family picnic.

Quest Palmerston Serviced Apartments and Rydges Palmerston are popular with business travellers undertaking trade in and around the city, or families and couples wanting easy access to our national parks. Golfers are welcome at the Palmerston Golf Club.

Palmerston is a great location to base yourself when visiting the surrounding attractions of the Wildlife and Wetlands region, Peninsula Way, Litchfield, Katherine and Kakadu.

A regular bus service (No.8) operates between the bus terminals at Palmerston and Darwin City.

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