Historically, Ngalakan speakers inhabited the area around Ngukurr, which is the name of the hill on which the town is centered. Ludwig Leichhardt named the Roper River in 1845, after one of the members of his expedition.

The Church of England, as the Roper River Mission, established the Ngukurr community in August 1908. The region had seen much violence towards Aboriginal people, and the mission became a refuge for the remnants of many different language groups.

The Ngukurr Bulldogs AFL team competes in the Katherine District Football League. Through the ‘KickStart’ program, Ngukurr has an under 16 AFL team competing in the Katherine Region youth competition. Fishing is the favourite recreational pastime. Hunting is another past time, including feral pigs and buffalo.

Ngukurr has an Aboriginal arts centre which sells works online.


Ngukurr Community Education Centre caters for preschool to secondary. 

School of the Air is also available.

Health services

The Sunrise Health Service (SHS) manages the clinic for this community. It is staffed by registered nurses and Aboriginal health workers, with a doctor visiting regularly.


  • Ngukurr Arts Centre
  • Roper River Bar
  • St Vidgeon Homestead ruins
  • Lomarieum Lagoon