About Nauiyu (Daly River, Northern Territory)


Nauiyu is situated approximately 250km south of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.  It began life as a Jesuit Mission which was first established in 1885 with 3 missionaries.  By 1891 it had four priests and seven brothers.  In 1955 the Catholic church began contruction of a new mission on the site of a Cecil Goodman's farm which it had purchased.  The new mission opened in 1961.   Nauiyu is today home to many language groups and families whose children originally came to the mission to be educated.  In the 1970's and 80's changes in the pastoral industry, which previously employed and provided homes for many of the indigenous people in this area, meant that the families of the children also moved to the mission.   Although the land on which the community sits is still owned by the Catholic Church and there are still very strong ties between some members of the community and the Church, the township now functions as a remote Aboriginal community.

In 1992, after a 14 year process of investigation and verification,  the Traditional owners of the the surrounding land, the Malak Malak people, were awarded title over much of their homelands  . The Malak Malak people speak two languages , Malak Malak and Matngele and now live both in Nauiyu and downstream at Wooliana.

The township of Nauiyu remained the property of the Catholic church to ensure that Community members from the surrounding homelands who had moved to the Mission were not left homeless.  These family groups rights were entrenched by the Nauiyu Nambiyu Land Trust Deed of 1 December 2009.  They include Members of the Ngangiwumirri, Ngangikururngdurr, Marrimananytyi, Marrithiel, Tyingli, Matngala, Marringar, Malak Malak, Ngarinyman, Kunuwinkyku, Murrinpatha, Batyamal, Mayali, Marrununggu, Tiwi, Ngandi, Mara language groups represented by 16 named trustees.  


Nauiyu is set on the banks of the Daly River which snakes it way around the community. It is regarded as one of the best fishing places for catching Barramundi in Australia. Each year it hosts two fishing competitions, the "Barra Classic" and the "Barra Nationals". As such the region is busy during the tourist season April - Sept.  Unfortunately the proximity of the Community site to the River also means that it has experienced a number of significant flooding events which result in the evacuation of the population. When there are no floods the locals enjoy the river and its surrounding lowlands.  Bush tucker is plentiful.  Turtles, Water pythons, Barramundi and Magpie Geese are all cooked up traditional style in the ground with ash and coals from "camp"  fire.  Damper and honey are a regular treat along with a few different varieties of bush plums and bush potatoes.  

Hunting, fishing and spending time out "on country" are passtimes enjoyed by everyone in the Community.  Sports of all descriptions are loved and played regularly.  Aussie Rules football and Basketball are two particular favourites and the community has a wonderfully maintained football oval. 


Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples 304
Male 46.3%
Female 53.7%
Median age 24
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander households 61
Average people per household 4.5
Median weekly household income $883
Median monthly mortgage repayments $0
Median weekly rent $70