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Police have discovered the bodies of three people at a home in Darwin, northern Australia.

The bodies, which local police said were in a state of decomposition and may have lain undiscovered for 24 to 48 hours, were discovered on Saturday by the caretaker of a building in the Jingili area of the city.

Detective Acting Superintendent Lee Morgan said: "It was quite a horrific scene. It was quite a horrific find for the caretaker. Three people deceased is not a good thing to attend. I can say that the bodies have suffered quite severe decomposition. The extent of that leaves us to believe the bodies have been there for 24, possibly up to 48 hours. We can't determine the injuries from our initial inspection but forensic people and pathologists will make an inspection."

Local police are focusing their investigations on events and movements around the property on Thursday and Friday.

''Thursday is particularly interesting to us", Morgan said. "With three people deceased we are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness and we will spend the next few days here doing everything we can.

"There's a whole range of possibilities. [With] Three deaths, we're definitely going to say it was suspicious. There was no one else on the block at the time."

The caretaker found the body of a woman about 50m from a house on the half-hectare block and called the authorities. Paramedics discovered two other bodies in the house and notified police. Police in Australia's Northern Territory police say they can't confirm the age and sex of the other two victims or any details about how the three died.