5 Groote Eylandt Facts for an Inspiring Weekend Visit

1. The island is owned by Traditional Owners

Groote Eylandt is the fourth largest island in Australia. The island was discovered in 1644 by Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman. He named it Groot Eiland, the dutch term for the phrase “large island”. The First Nations name for the island is Ayangkidarrba, and it comes from the Anindilyakwa language. The aboriginal Anindilyakwa people inhabit Groote Eylandt, Bickerton Island, and Woodah Island, which are all located in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Anindilyakwa Aboriginal people are the traditional owners of the Groote Eylandt archipelago region and are referred to by their language name, ‘Anindilyakwa’. The Anindilyakwa have occupied Groote Eylandt for some eight thousand years, and 14 clans live in the archipelago area.


2. Groote Eylandt is Less than Two Hours from Darwin

Groote Eylandt is located northeast of the Northern Territory. The Gulf of Carpentaria is a shallow sea enclosed by northern Australia on three sides. The island is approximately 50 km off the shore of the mainland, and around 630 km away from the Northern Territory’s capital, Darwin.

The best way to access Groote Eylandt is by an hour-and-a-half flight from Darwin. There are one to two flights between Darwin and Groote Eylandt on a daily basis, and a round trip is priced around $750 to $900 AUD. There are currently no travel restrictions, however, travel restrictions to Groote have been put in place in the past due to COVID-19. The best way to ensure that Groote Eylandt is open during your visit is to the National Indigenous Australians Agency or the NIAA’s website. You can also see flight availability here or in the widget below.


3. Get Away From the Hustle and Bustle at Groote Eylandt with this Sea View Lodge

The most popular place to stay on Groote Eylandt is by far the Groote Eylandt Lodge. With boasting views of the Gulf of Carpentaria, an outdoor pool, a sea-view bar and restaurant the Groote Eylandt Lodge is located in Alyangula in the North-Western part of Groote Eylandt. The lodge is located right by the water and offers many amenities like airport transportation, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool. All the rooms are large and spacious, and the option for a water front room is also available. The lodge’s restaurant, the Seagrass Bar and Restaurant, has a gorgeous view of the gulf as well as meal options for everyone.

Guests can enjoy sitting on their balcony and taking in the sea air. The rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV, refrigerator, kettle, ironing facilities, and an ensuite bathroom.

The resort is a 15-minute walk from the town centre of Alyangula with local amenities such as a pharmacy, newsagent, Australia Post and a gift shop.

The Groote Eylandt Lodge is ideal for anyone looking for a relaxing retreat.

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4. You Will Need a Permit to Visit Groote Eylandt

In order to visit Groote Eylandt, you must acquire a permit.  A recreation permit is needed to visit the island. Apply for a recreation permit here. If you are interested in visiting aboriginal land outside of the designated recreation areas, a special access permit is needed. Additionally, separate permits must be acquired for working and photography. Read more about permits here.

5. Don’t Miss Groote Eylandt Fishing, Arts and Cultural Experiences

One of the most popular activities on Groote Eylandt is fishing. The Groote Eylandt Touring Company has a handful of fishing excursions that are open to the public. They range from 1 to 6-day trips and are fully guided by professionals.

Visiting the Anindilyakwa Arts and Cultural Centre is a great way to explore the local aboriginal culture. Founded in 2005, the centre focuses on selling art made by First Nations people, the centre buys the art pieces from the artists, and then tourists purchase for a memorable Groote Eylandt keepsake and experience. The Arts and Cultural Centre is located across the Groote Eylandt Lodge and is open from 9 am – 5 pm from Tuesdays – Fridays, 10 am – 2 pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays and Mondays.

What are you waiting for? Come visit and relax on beautiful Groote Eylandt.

We would love your feedback on this page – please comment below if you’ve been to Groote Eylandt or are planning a visit!

Norther® would like to invite you to explore more about the beauty at Groote Eylandt here. And… as always, you can get more inspiration for other Destinations & National Parks to visit by following @northerhq or get your Groote Eylandt daily fix @grooteeylandt.



NORTHER ® provides encouragement for travellers to value, enjoy and explore the NT in a one-of-kind way so they can honour and respect culture through care and integrity.

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