Geoscience Australia says an earthquake south-west of Tennant Creek in Central Australia could have been felt almost 40 kilometres away.
The 3.5 magnitude tremor hit at about 8:00pm on Monday.
Seismologist Eddie Leask says residents may have felt their windows rattle or seen crockery and cutlery move but there is unlikely to be any significant damage.
He says Tennant Creek is a hotspot for geological events.
"Tennant Creek is very popular place for earthquakes in Australia, especially since those large, magnitude six earthquakes we had in 1988," he said.
"Since then we've had ... almost 500 magnitude 3.5 (quakes) in that region."
Tennant Creek, about 1,000 kilometres south of Darwin, is close to Muckaty Station, the Federal Government's preferred site for a national nuclear waste facility in the Northern Territory.