Groote Eylandt Travel Guide

Groote Eylandt is the largest island in the Groote Archipelago. This island shelters a variety of wonderful plants and animals, and it is a great place to learn about Aboriginal culture. The island is situated in the centre of the Gulf of Carpentaria, so you will be amazed by stunning marine views. While many locations on Earth have entered the 21st century’s age of technology, Groote Eylandt remains a pristine natural destination.

Things to see and do on Groote Eylandt

People who want to learn more about Indigenous art should make sure that they allow plenty of time to check out Anindilyakwa Art and Cultural Centre. A large number of paintings as well as traditional carvings and jewellery is proudly displayed here, while entertainment is provided by local musicians.

Spending a few hours casting off and waiting to catch a bite is a great way to spend a sunny day. The waters of Blue Mud Bay are the perfect place to try barramundi fishing, while this is also a very scenic spot to go for a stroll and visitors who have been lucky enough to catch a nibble will find barbecue pits here where they can cook their catch to enjoy some of the freshest fish possible.

Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory
People who enjoy messing about on the water are sure to have fun exploring the Western Islands. Boat trips are readily available from Groote Eylandt and visitors are offered the chance to try diving and snorkelling in order to view the colourful reefs and fish species that inhabit the cool, clear waters.

Visitors who take a trip to the picturesque Bathurst Island will be given the chance to learn more about the native Aboriginal tribes that inhabit the island. In addition to the intense natural beauty of the island, visitors will also have the chance to check out traditional wooden churches and other interesting landmarks.

Situated just a short drive from Groote Eylandt, Berry Springs Nature Reserve is a great place to cool down on a sunny day by swimming in the waiting waters. A cascading rock pool helps to add to the beauty of the area and there are plenty of great places to pause and enjoy a picnic while soaking up the scenery.

History

Groote Eylandt is the traditional homeland of the Anindilyakwa Aboriginal people. These Aborigines have lived on the Groote Archipelago for thousands of years. Anindilyakwa is still the official language of Groote Eylandt. When you visit the island, learn about the rich history of the local Aboriginal people. You will be inspired to learn about the mysteries of the world and its cultures when you hear about Anindilyakwa legends. Europeans first made contact with Groote Eylandt when the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovered the Gulf of Carpentaria. Tasman landed on the island in 1644. The name of this beautiful natural treasure comes from an old Dutch word for ‘large island’.

This wondrous landmass has hilly landscapes that are surrounded by a vast sea of sapphire of waters. When you explore Groote Eylandt’s rain forests, beaches, and cliffs, you will realise that you are in a tropical paradise. Your breath will certainly be taken away by the unforgettable natural gems that adorn the 2,400 square-kilometre island.

Getting there

Groote Eylandt is situated 50 kilometres off the coast of Australia’s Northern Territory. The island is located 630 kilometres north of Darwin, so you will require several means of transportation to get there. In the past, Groote Eylandt was off-limits to travellers who did not have permission from the Anindilyakwa people. This rule has been relaxed, but the area still only receives a modest amount of visitors.