Springvale Homestead is the oldest homestead still standing in the Northern Territory and it became heritage listed in 1998
Former Overland Telegraph linesman Alfred Giles constructed Springvale Homestead in 1879 following his 14-month droving expedition bringing cattle and 12,000 sheep from Adelaide.
Located on the banks of the Katherine River, Springvale was constructed using local timber and stone quarried from the area.
The homestead is home to four Indian rain trees planted by Mary Giles, wife of Alfred Giles. The trees were planted for each of their children and are perhaps the biggest trees standing in the Territory.
Giles built the homestead as part of Dr William Browne’s Northern Territory pastoral empire and it later became a stopover point for travellers passing between Darwin, South Australia and Queensland. During the Second World War, the property became an Aboriginal settlement under joint Military and Native Affairs Branch control.
In 1949 Springvale became home to notable writers Tom and Moya Ronan, with Tom writing four of his five novels in Springvale.