Larrakeyah Barracks

Larrakeyah Barracks, incorporating HMAS Coonawarra, is the main base for the Australian Defence Force in the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies the headland west of the suburb of Larrakeyah in the capital, Darwin. It was established in 1932–33, with building commencing in earnest in 1934, although many of the oldest structures were built in the early years of World War II.[1]

The name Larrakeyah is a transcription of the name of the Australian Aborigine tribe known also as the Larrakia people, the traditional owners of where Darwin was built and its surrounding areas.[2]


The base is on a mostly level headland running east-west, some 25 metres above the ocean. Darwin Naval Base is on a lower area on the south side, incorporating some reclaimed land.

The base is bounded to the east by the suburb of Larrakeyah, to the south by HMAS Coonawarra and the boat harbour on Darwin Harbour, to the west by Emery Point overlooking the approaches to Darwin Harbour, and the north by Cullen Bay.


Some parts of the base are heritage listed.[3] These include:

  • Command Blockhouse;
  • Emery Point—known as 'Gundal' (bush peanut) to Larrakia traditional owners of the Greater Darwin Region. The site is registered with the Aboriginal Area Protection Authority (AAPA). It is one of the most important and significant sites to Larrakia people as a place associated with the initiation and teaching of young boys. The site is protected by Larrakia and monitored with the assistance of AAPA and is one of the few remaining registered sites adjacent to the Darwin CBD;[4]
  • Headquarters Building;
  • Sergeants Mess; and
  • Darwin Mobile Force buildings.


ADF units at Larrakeyah include:



  • Jobson, Christopher (2009). Looking Forward, Looking Back: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Army. Wavell Heights, Queensland: Big Sky Publishing. ISBN 9780980325164.

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