Keep The Territory’s Rivers Flowing

Let’s look after the rivers that make our Top End way of life.


Keep 'em flowing'

Healthy rivers are central to the Territory way of life. They’re where we fish, we boat, we relax and we enjoy the unique Top End lifestyle. But they’re under threat from big business who want to take huge amounts of water from our rivers. We don’t want to see what happened down south on the Murray Darling to happen to our Top End rivers. We need a different approach – one that works to keep our Territory rivers as the special places that they are and protects the Top End way of life.

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Our Rivers

Daly River

The Daly River is highly regarded as the premier Barramundi sports fishing location in Australia. Tourists flock from all over to try and catch one of the Daly’s legendary trophy sized Barramundi and explore one of the most beautiful and abundant rivers in Northern Australia. Our incredible natural asset has secured major international fishing tournaments year on year and attracts the best sports fishers from around the world.

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Credit: Jason Fowler
Credit: Jack Kinney

Roper River

The mighty Roper is the Territory’s second largest river with its headwaters extending northwards right up into the wild untouched regions of the Arnhem Land stone country and south into the drier expanse of the Beetaloo Basin. In the dry season the Mataranka hot springs are fed by vast underground aquifers which spill over into the Roper and keep the river flowing all year round.

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Adelaide River

The Adelaide River is a Territory icon in and of itself - home to jumping croc tours, cultural connections and thriving wetlands. With major plans underway to build large dams upstream the Adelaide river is under increasing pressure from water extraction.

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Credit: Shutterstock

People on our rivers

Credit: Nick Gouldhurst


Owner/operator Sinclair’s on Daly Fishing Retreat

"I first moved to Daly River in 1973, then opened the tourism business in 1990. I've watched the industry really take off and expand to the bustling trade it is today. This is one of the very few healthy rivers left and it's already earning big dollars for the Territory.”


Credit: Nick Gouldhurst


Nauiyu elder, Daly River

“I was born on the banks of this river, it's our life blood. I’ve fought for this river in the past and I’m ready to fight for it again. This river has beautiful cold water for drinking, we must keep it that way.”



Stop big cotton - don't rob our rivers

Free flowing tropical rivers are extraordinarily rare and our rivers are internationally significant. They are home to a diverse range of freshwater species; healthy, well-functioning ecosystems and they support local businesses and lifestyle.

While our rivers are mostly in good shape, they are under threat on a number of fronts.


If large-scale cotton gets established, tens of thousands of hectares of bushland will be bulldozed and huge amounts of water will be taken from our rivers. More


Industrial scale irrigation will destroy the natural flows of our river, devastating the region's fisheries, aquatic life and tourism values. More


Big cotton operations will result in a rise in the use of agricultural chemicals, becoming a serious threat to the wildlife living downstream. More

Land Clearing

Big cotton operations will result in more savanna being bulldozed alongside our rivers. More

What happens next

It’s time to commit to protecting our iconic rivers.


No new dams on the Daly and Roper Rivers More


Increased community decision-making over water issues More


Strong laws that protect our Top End rivers More


More about our rivers

Roper River drawing

The Roper River Water Statement

Along the Roper River catchment people are asking for no more water out.
In 2023, Traditional Owners from across 20,000 square kilometres of the Roper river catchment travelled to the Australian Parliament to ask for protection of the river with a 13-metre hand-painted cultural map.

Read more about the Roper River Cultural Map campaign here.

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Join us

We can look after NT’s unique rivers and the lifestyle they enable for generations to come by adopting a new approach to managing our rivers and their catchments. We need to ensure that the way we look after our rivers incorporates the needs of nature and local communities, not just big business.

Help keep the Territory’s rivers flowing.

Credit: Jason Fowler