Maningrida is one of the largest Aboriginal towns in the Northern Territory. It is situated approximately 500km east of Darwin in Arnhem Land, at the mouth of the Liverpool River.

A permanent settlement was established there in the late 1940s, originally as a trading post with Aboriginals in the area, and this was converted into a mission during the 1950s.

According to the Northern Territory Place Names Committee, the name Maningrida is an Anglicised version of the Kunibídji name Manayingkarírra, which comes from the phrase Mane djang karirra, meaning "the place where the Dreaming changed shape."

These days, the town is the major service centre for the region, with a school, health clinic, multiple food outlets and two supermarkets, service station, arts centre, creche, and a tarmac airport, with commercial flights operating daily to Darwin.

Small-scale tourism ventures, including cultural tours and fishing expeditions, operate out of Maningrida.  Apart from the town's population of approximately 2300, Maningrida also services about 30 outstations or homelands in the region.

West Arnhem Regional Council provides a range of services in Maningrida, including local government services, sport and recreation programs, rubbish collection and removal, parks and gardens maintenance, as well as providing other services on behalf of government agencies. The Council also operates a 25-metre swimming pool in the town.

Click here for information on the Maningrida Local Authority.

Community Overview

2292 (2011 Census) 

500km east of Darwin and 300km north east of Jabiru in Arnhem Land.

Languages spoken:
Ndjébbana, Burarra, eastern Kunwinjku, English

Maningrida is a major Aboriginal town in Arnhem Land, and has a school (Preschool to Year 12), health clinic, service station, convenience store and cafe, two supermarkets, police station, crèche facilities, and a community arts centre.

25-metre swimming pool, fishing, boating, hiking, arts and craft, sports ovals and basketball facilities.

Year-road access via air - Air North runs a daily passenger service.
Weekly barge services from Darwin for freight.
Dry season (Apr-Nov):
Road access.
Wet season (Dec-Mar):
The river crossing at Cahill’s Crossing, East Alligator River, is usually impassable.

News from Maningrida

Maningrida's great youth worker

ACCLAIMED youth services manager Noeletta Gamanydjan McKenzie is encouraging people to support an online crowdfunding campaign to help continue the program for youngsters in Maningrida.  Noeletta, who manages the GREATS (Great Recreation, Entertainment, Arts, Training and Sport) youth program, is one of the most successful exponents of self-determination in the remote Aboriginal community.


Our NAIDOC winners

Warddeken Chairman Fred Hunter has dedicated a national NAIDOC Award win to the “Old People” whose wisdom and passion has protected the Stone Country for generations. Elders, rangers and members of Warddeken Land Management received the award in the Caring for Country category of the 2015 National NAIDOC Awards on 10 July.

In Darwin on 11 July, Noeletta McKenzie took out the NT Top End NAIDOC 2015 Person of the Year Award. Ms McKenzie is the “deadly” manager of Greats Youth Services in Maningrida.

Pipe dream becomes reality in Maningrida

THE West Arnhem community of Maningrida will receive new infrastructure and equipment thanks to the West Arnhem Regional Council (WARC) and Northern Territory Government. WARC Mayor Lothar Siebert thanked Minister for Local Government and Community Services Bess Price for helping deliver much-needed upgrades to lighting, sewerage, and council equipment. “These new upgrades will help us light up the town, clean up the tip, and keep the beaches clean,” Mayor Siebert said.