Humpty Doo is a small town in Australia’s Northern Territory. It is situated just south of the Arnhem Highway, approximately 40 km from Darwin. At the 2001 census, Humpty Doo had a population of 5,213.
The town is known for agriculture experiments that have occurred there. In 1954, after some experimentation by CSIRO, a joint Australia-U.S. company called Territory Rice Ltd. was put together with a plan to irrigate the subcoastal plain of the Adelaide River in order to commercially produce rice there. The plan was a complete failure due to several factors, including an invasion of various types of hungry animals, soil that was too saline and an insufficient amount of drainage. After failing to find someone else to take up their leases, they gave up the land to the government in 1962. The Rice Project was actually 20 km east of the present town on part of the Humpty Doo Station where the name “Humpty Doo” was first used. The irrigation dam, called Fogg Dam, is still there and a great place for bird watching.
A more successful agricultural experiment was the growing of mangos. Top quality fruit from Humpty Doo is picked earlier than Queensland mangos and fetches a top price in southern markets.
The Humpty Doo Hotel is well known and features in several bush ballads. Another tourist attraction is the large boxing crocodile outside the Bush Shop.
The town has seen much commercial and residential development in recent years, including the construction of a shopping centre, fire and emergency services station, as well as new schools and housing subdivisions.