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The Oodnadatta Track and the Stuart Highway

Welcome to

Adelaide River

Adelaide River is a small town on the Stuart Highway, between Pine Creek and Darwin. The first settlement there began during construction of the Overland Telegraph Line in the early 1870s.

During the mail service that followed mail bags were exchanged at Adelaide River in the wet season. Later the river crossing at Adelaide River became the overnight stopping point for the Haimes Royal Mail Coach linking Southport, the busy river port, with the Pine Creek goldfields.    

The railway followed and Adelaide River was a welcome stop as the only refreshment rooms on the Palmerston to Pine Creek line.

During WW11, Adelaide River became a huge military base with the 119 Australian General Hospital and the main American headquarters. After the bombing of Darwin in 1942, Adelaide River became the centre of military activity.

Adelaide River War Cemetery, in beautifully maintained gardens, was created for the men and women who died on Australian soil during the war years. The stone at the centre of the cemetery is the Memorial to the Missing.

Snake Creek Ammunition dump, 1 km out of town, is one of a number of WW11 historic sites. Some of the buildings, carved into the hillside, are still there. Displays can be seen at the Adelaide River Railway Museum.


Adelaide River bridges

Adelaoide River War Cemetery