Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Newcastle Waters NT

Newcastle Waters

Postcode: 0862

Newcastle Waters is a small settlement on the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory. Newcastle is virtually uninhabited. The nearest petrol station and accommodation is found 32 kilometres (20 miles) south at Elliott. Near Newcastle Waters there is a large cattle station with over 40,000 head of cattle.

In 1930 the Government resumed one square mile from Newcastle Waters Station for a town site. It was an obvious location because, apart from the cattle station, the area already contained a Police Station and Works Department depot.

The township was economically dependent on droving and the arrival of road trains meant that by the early 1960s it had been reduced to a virtual ghost town.

Newcastle Waters played an interesting role in the history of Australian aviation. Ross and Keith Smith’s flight from England to Australia in 1919 required the construction of a number of strips for refuelling. The Smith brothers aeroplane needed to refuel at Darwin, Katherine and Newcastle Waters before flying on to Queensland.

Nearby, at least in Northern Territory terms, is Anthony Lagoon (249 km east of the town – take the turnoff 20 km south of Elliott). The lagoon, a large and permanent water supply on the Creswell Creek, was discovered by Ernest Favenc in 1878 and quickly became a vital watering hole on the stock routes from the Kimberleys to Queensland. In 1895 a police station was established near the Anthony Lagoon cattle station to monitor the movement of cattle in the area. It became a camp for cattle drovers and a place where the local Aborigines made contact with the whites moving through the area.