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

Opposition leader drops in to 'Grida

Northern Territory Leader of the Opposition Delia Lawrie visited Maningrida recently, meeting with Traditional Owners and service providers including West Arnhem Regional Council Community Services Manager Adam Cornell. Mr Cornell spoke with Ms Lawrie at a meeting on Wednesday 11 February about issues of concern to Maningrida residents and Council, including funding for road maintenance and upgrades, dog and animal management programs, community fencing and the need for a community morgue.

Cargo cruise casts off to Arnhem Land

INTREPID travellers will be able to cruise the stunning remote areas of Arnhem Land in a unique maritime adventure to be launched on 8 December. Sea Swift’s MV Malu Trader, a working cargo barge, operates a weekly freight service between Darwin and Gove, plus remote coastal communities including Groote Eylandt and Maningrida. 

Bettina's building bridges

Bettina Danganbarr from Elcho Island enjoys her community policing work, and is encouraging other Indigenous residents in West Arnhem to do the same.