Modern History

Fogg Dam was the focus of national and international interest in the 1950s through development of the Humpty Doo Rice Project. Developed by Territory Rice Limited (TRL), a joint Australian/American venture, its founding investors included American film and television stars.

To learn more about this fascinating story see “The Humpty Doo Rice Trail Booklet” for detailed information.

Or visit the  Humpty Doo Rice Trail Website  for a more concise and audio history.

Fogg Dam was named after James D Fogg, Managing Director of Utah Australia, the engineering contractor to Territory Rice Ltd.  He was also project manager for building Lake Eildon in Victoria.


Fogg Dam was constructed for by the Royal Australian Air Force construction squadron at a cost of $100,000 to provide fresh water for the young rice crop.  The dam, with spillways at each end of the wall, filled to overflowing each wet season. The floodplain was so wet the main 10km irrigation channel to the rice fields could not be constructed until 1962.

Bird Protection District

1959 Fogg Dam was declared a Bird Protection District to give the magpie geese a refuge away from the rice fields. With year round presence of water and all wetland bird species of the Top End are regularly spotted at Fogg Dam it has an international reputation amongst birdwatchers.

Conservation Reserve

In 2005 the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2003 was amended to provide the legal provision for Joint Management of Parks with Traditional Owners and this has been implemented at Fogg Dam.  The Parks & Wildlife Commission is responsible for day-to-day management and finance, resource management.   Traditional Owners are responsible to the land, law and culture with responsibility for decision making, overseeing cultural protocols for sacred sites and managing the transfer of traditional knowledge.

Important Bird Area (IBA)

In 2005 the Adelaide & Mary River Floodplains are recognised as an Australian ‘Important Bird Areas’ (IBA) and Fogg Dam is located the Adelaide River floodplain.  The IBA program is an international non-governmental conservation scheme lead by BirdLife International Partners such as BirdLife Australia.

Heritage Site

In 2009 Fogg Dam was made a Heritage Site for its history with the Humpty Doo Rice Project. 

Fogg Dam was named after James Fogg, Managing Director of Utah Australia Ltd., a construction contractor for Territory Rice Ltd.  James Fogg was also Project Manager for building Eildon Weir, now Lake Eildon, in Victoria.

Humpty Doo Rice Trail

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67km from Darwin CBD. Accessible all year

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