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Katherine is a town in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is situated on the Katherine River, after which it is named, 320 kilometres (200 mi) southeast of Darwin. It is the fourth largest settlement in the Territory and is known as the place where "The outback meets the tropics".
Katherine had an urban population of approximately 6,300 at the 2016 Census.Katherine is also the closest major town to RAAF Base Tindal, located 17 km (11 mi) southeast, and provides education, health, local government services and employment opportunities for the families of Defence personnel stationed there. In the 2016 census, the base had a residential population of 857, with only around 20% of the workforce engaged in employment outside of defence, the majority commuting to work in Katherine. Katherine is also the central hub of the great "Savannah Way" which stretches from Cairns in north Queensland to Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.Beginning as an outpost established with the Australian Overland Telegraph Line on the north–south transport route between Darwin and Adelaide, Katherine has grown with the development of transport and local industries including mining – particularly gold mining; a strategic military function with RAAF Base Tindal; also as a tourism gateway to the attractions of nearby Nitmiluk National Park, particularly Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge and its many ancient rock paintings. The region floods heavily during the wet season.
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