Groote Eylandt means ‘big island’ in Dutch, and is indeed the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The Dutch were the first Europeans to record the existence of the island, located 630km by air from Darwin off the east coast of Arnhem Land. Ownership today has been returned to the Anindilyakwa people. If you plan to visit, it’s mandatory to obtain a permit by contacting the Anindilyakwa Land Council.
The Groote Eylandt landscape is typical of the Top End, light woodland savannah country fringed by mangroves on the coast. Alyangula is the main town with a population of 870 and most residents are non-Aboriginal miners, with manganese being mined since 1966.
Groote Eylandt is a fantastic spot for fishing, while facilities for visitors are limited, safaris can be organised for anglers and accommodation is available at the Groote Eylandt Lodge.