Howard Springs

Useful Information

Location: Howard Springs Reserve, Howard Springs NT 0835.
(-12.456453, 131.052419)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstKarst Spring
Dimension: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Howard Springs, Howard Springs NT 0835.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1944 weir for the main pool built by the Royal Australian Engineers.
1957 declared first Reserve of the Northern Territory.


Howard Springs is a freshwater spring with barramundi, turtles, and wallabies. It has shaded picnic and barbeque areas and clear swimming pools surrounded by trees. Swimming in the main pool at the springs is no longer allowed. It was popular during World War II, when more than 100,000 armed forces personnel were based in the area and the site was quite crowded. At this time the weir for the main pool built by the Royal Australian Engineers. It was extending the swimming hole to provide a recreation area for Australian and US servicemen. It is explained with a bad water quality, but more likely is probably nature protection as there is a lot of wildlife in the lake. There is a 1.8 km walking track with explanatory signs.

The springs provided drinking water for Darwin for a few years. But as it is not usable for several months every year, Manton Dam was built to provide Darwin with a reliable water supply.