Picnic and barbecue among shady trees at the site of Darwin's first reliable water supply, then dive in for a dip, or fish, and water-ski.

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Built in 1942, Manton Dam was Darwin's first reliable water supply. Today the dam is a pleasant destination for an easy daytrip from Darwin, 70 kilometres south, and a popular recreation spot that is accessible year-round.

Manton Dam is a water sport enthusiast's paradise. Swim safely in the designated swimming area, or bring a powerboat and water skis and make some waves in the unrestricted boating zone. Canoeists, windsurfers and low-speed boaties can take an easier pace in the low speed zone. Pack a picnic and make the most of the day - there are tables and barbecues in shady spots. Bring your fishing rod and try your luck - if it's a while between bites there are plenty of ducks and other wader species to spot while you enjoy a relaxing pause on the bank. Alongside the water species, birdwatchers will also be able to see many Eucalypt woodland birds, as this habitat is part of the shoreline in many places. Reptiles and mammals have also been recorded in this area and form a large part of the fauna list for the Dam and its environs.

Opening times:
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays 9am to 7pm.
Entry cost:
Free entry
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • BBQ Facilities
  • Picnic Area
  • Public Toilet