The Gulf of Carpentaria is a large, shallow, inlet of the Arafura Sea, between Cape York and Australia's Northern Territory. Discovered in the early 17th century, the gulf is named after explorer Pieter Carpenter. More than 20 rivers empty into the shallow gulf, the floor of which is nowhere more than 230 feet deep.

Although rather remote, the gulf is economically important for its vast resources of bauxite, manganese, and shrimp. The population along its coast is steadily increasing as a direct result.