Photos of Groote Eylandt, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia

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Groote Eylandt, in the Gulf of Carpentaria

The Dutch gave the name (meaning “Big Island”) to this largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and although all of it belongs to the local Anindilyakwa people, it is still called by its old Dutch name (but often shortened to “Groot”). Near the Aboriginal community of Angurugu is the large manganese mine that pays royalties to the traditional owners of this land. The ore is shipped from the harbour at Alyangula, a modern town where most non-Aboriginal employees of the mine live. Just east of this town, along the north coast, is Bartalumba Bay, a picturesque coastline and the site of a prawn processing factory.

Angurugu Creek
Old tin houses
Camp, Angurugu
Checking the car
Houses, Angurugu
Along the river
Little girl printed
Angurugu Creek
Children playing
Boys in canoe
Alyangula harbour
Bartalumba Bay
Prawn Factory
North coast, Bartalumba Bay
Rocky coast
Anglican church, Angurugu
Central Groote Eylandt
Beach, Umbakumba
View along the creek
Corrugated iron huts
Beachfront, Umbakumba
Church of St. Andrew
Happy boys

A road leads from Angurugu, through the centre of the island, to the small Aboriginal community of Umbakumba, nicely situated on the east coast.

The Anindilyakwa speaking clans maintain their traditions and have strong ties with the people on the mainland, in the communities of Numbulwar and Bickerton Island. However, the easy availability of alcohol in Alyangula causes frequent upheavals in Angurugu and Umbakumba.