Batchelor is a town in the Northern Territory of Australia. The town is located in the Coomalie Local Government Area, 98 kilometres (61 mi) south of the territory capital, Darwin. At the 2001 census, Batchelor had a population of 718 with 39% of indigenous origin.
Batchelor is an entry point for travellers to Litchfield National Park, and previously serviced the Rum Jungle uranium mine. The town is home to a TAFE college, the Batchelor Institute, with a strong focus on indigenous students.
Named after the politician E.L. Batchelor, the town remained a quiet backwater until World War II. The township was then used as an important Allied airforce base and the population increased rapidly. The aerodrome can still be seen today.
Later, in 1949, uranium was discovered in the nearby area of Rum Jungle, 11 km north of Batchelor. Again, the town’s population swelled, until the mine was closed in 1963.
Rum Jungle has a rich history, typically associated with Australian mining camps and towns. In his famous novel Capricornia, Xavier Herbert wrote about Rum Jungle under the fictitious name of Black Adder Creek. Although the mine is no longer open for inspection, many places around the town still keep the Rum Jungle name alive.
Today, Batchelor thrives on tourism to Litchfield National Park and also has exceptional TAFE and training centres that specifically cater for indigenous students.