The Region

Groote Eylandt is around 650 kilometres east of Darwin in the Gulf of Carpentaria, about 50 kilometres off the eastern coast of Arnhem Land. The island measures 50 km east to west and 60 km north to south, with an area of 2326 square kilometres.

The third largest island in Australia, Groote Eylandt and its sprawling archipelago encompasses some 40 smaller islands. Its name is Dutch for ‘Large Island’, named by explorer Abel Tasman in 1644. The Warnindilyakwa people are the traditional owners of the Groote Eylandt archipelago region and are referred to by their language name, ‘Anindilyakwa’.

The archipelago and its natural environment is quite unique, with pristine beaches, spring water swimming holes, open woodland, rainforest and sand dunes. The marine environment surrounding the island has complex reef systems and a rich fishery.