Welcome to the Groote Archipelago, the Anindilyakwa people’s home, situated in Australia’s remote north, in the pristine waters of the Arafura Sea, in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The Groote Eylandt airport is a 25-minute flight south from Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula. Groote Eylandt is Australia’s third largest island, named by explorer Abel Tasman in 1644, and is Dutch for “large island’.
The Traditional Owners of the Groote Archipelago are referred to by their language name, Anindilyakwa. The Indigenous people of this archipelago are made up of 14 clans who continue to embrace their salt-water culture and strong ceremonial traditions, while cleverly adapting Western technologies to suit their needs. Discover more about this on our anthropology page.
The language of the archipelago is generally known as Anindilyakwa and referred to by its speakers as Amamalya Ayakwa. It is a complex language and one of the few Australian Indigenous languages that is still spoken strongly throughout its communities. For more information about this, visit our Language Centre page.
There are seven indigenous communities in the Groote Archipelago. The largest communities are Angurugu and Umbakumba located on Groote Eylandt, and Milyakburra located on Bickerton Island. In addition, there are 4 satellite communities located close to mainstream services that exist for culturally significant reasons. These include 4 Mile, Malkala, Little Paradise, and Bartalumba Bay.
The Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO), the majority of which is owned and operated by South 32, began operations on Groote Eylandt in 1965 to mine manganese.
GEMCO established Alyangula primarily as the residence for the mining company workers. The township of Alyangula is established under a special purpose lease between GEMCO, ALC and the Anindilyakwa Land Trust (ALT).
Groote Archipelago is unique and has a very diverse environment with pristine beaches, spring water swimming holes, open woodland, rainforest, red sand dunes, aqua waters and rock art which is thousands of years old.
If you are looking for accommodation or need help with your plans to visit the island, please contact the Groote Eylandt Lodge.
All visitors intending to travel off the main township Lease require permits. Please visit our permits page to see which ones are applicable to you.