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

A 'Festival of the hoop' at Lurr'a

THE Women’s GBR-A team from Gupanga has won the grand final of the Lurr’a Festival Basketball Competition, beating the Maningrida-A team in the final 14-10. There was a huge turnout for the games on Saturday 18 October, with teams playing until after dark. The winners were awarded medals and trophies onstage at the Lurr'a Festival that night in front of a large crowd.

Maningrida cleans up with prizes

Residents of Maningrida are no strangers to cyclones, with Cyclone Monica tearing through the coastal community in 2006. Cyclone preparedness is something the Maningrida community takes seriously, and with that in mind, the West Arnhem Regional Council got together with other agencies to run the first Community Clean Up Competition recently.

Local Authority finds its voice in Maningrida

THE need for a community morgue was one of the first items raised at the first meeing of the newly formed Maningrida Local Authority, held at the West Arnhem Regional Council (WARC) offices in Maningrida on 16 July. The Maningrida Local Authority members elected Baru Pascoe as Chairperson and Bernadette Yibarbuk as Deputy Chair. Local Authority meetings are also due to be held in Gunbalanya on 2 July and Warruwi and Minjilang on 6 August. WARC provides secretarial assistance at the meetings and lends a close ear to the concerns of the community. Through the meetings, the Local Authorities have a direct say in how council funds are spent in their communities.