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

Sheena's sporting some new skills

WEST Arnhem Regional Council Sports and Recreation Officer Sheena Numungara has become the first female Indigenous person in the Northern Territory to complete a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation.

Stay calm, it's Cyclone Lam

Severe Tropical Cyclone Lam has left a trail of destruction across Arnhem Land after crossing the coast as a Category 4 at Ramingining, 80km east of Maningrida, around 2am Friday 20 February. West Arnhem communities escaped its full force, with the Warruwi community at Goulburn Island evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Maningrida in a league of its own

View a slideshow of images from the Baru v Buffalos game in Maningrida, Monday 23 February.