Barunga, also known as Bamyili, is in the Nyirranggulung Ward and is located 80 kilometres south-east of Katherine on the Central Arnhem Road

Quick snapshot


Approximately 337 people reside in Barunga with a median age of 26 years old (Census 2021)


The people of Barunga speak Kriol, Jawoyn, Dalabon, Maiyali, Mangarrai and English


Barunga Council Office: Lot 198, Barunga NT 0852

Phone: (08) 8977 3200

Barunga Postal Address: PMB 25, Barunga NT 0852

Barunga is in the Nyirranggulung Ward and is located 80 kilometres south-east of Katherine on the Central Arnhem Road. Barunga may also be called Bamyili. 

View of town from lookout
Barunga Community


This information is sourced from the Northern Territory Government and is available on BushTel

Service TypeAvailableDetails 
Regular Transport ServiceYes 

Bagala Remote Community Bus

(08) 8922 2666

Katherine Coaches

(08) 8971 0774)

FuelNo Fuel is available at Beswick, Mataranka and Katherine 
Commercial AccommodationYes 

Commercial accommodation is available at the Ranch. 8 single rooms, kitchen facilities and disabled access. Please contact the Bagala Aboriginal Corporation to book:

0498 831 702 or 0475 744 369

Community StoreYes 

Barunga Community Store

(08) 8975 4507

AirstripYes Bamyili Aerodrome (unsealed) (3km from the community) 
Health CentreYes 

Primary Health Care delivered by Sunrise Health Services

(08) 8975 4501

Alcohol No Alcohol Protected Area and a General Restricted Area 
Police StationNo 

Serviced by Maranboy Police Station (8km from the community)

(08) 8975 4500


Barunga School

(08) 8975 4502

Council Service Delivery CentreYes  Council Office located at Lot 198, Barunga NT 0852 
Mobile Phone, Internet & RadioYes There are currently two public telephones in Barunga and also Telstra 3G telephone and internet coverage. Digital television is connected to all homes and local radio is provided through the Remote Indigenous Broadcast Services (RIBS) 
Post OfficeYes Post Office located at Council Service Delivery Centre 
Early Childcare CentreYes The Barunga Crèche is run by the Barunga School at Lot 245 
Aged Care CentreNo   


By road, the trip to Barunga takes approximately one (1) hour from Katherine on an all-weather road. The single lane Central Arnhem Highway is sealed to the gateway of Barunga. Barunga may also be accessed via chartered small aircraft. It is approximately five (5) kilometres from the Barunga Airstrip to Barunga Community.

Please be advised that Barunga is a closed community; a Northern Land Council (NLC) permit is required to visit this community.



Commencing production in 1913, the Maranboy Tin Mine, located eight (8) kilometres from Barunga ceased its operation in 1945. It was at this time that the Indigenous people who serviced the mine relocated back to Beswick Creek, or Beswick (current site of Barunga).  In 1951, due to the large influx in the population in Beswick, the Northern Territory Government began developing Beswick through building basic housing infrastructure and creating employment opportunities.

By 1965, Beswick had grown to such a size that an additional Camp was formed. This Camp was named Bamyili by the Elders and in 1984 the name was changed to Barunga.

Barunga is home to the Barunga Festival, a much-loved Territory festival that attracts more than 4000 fans – Indigenous and non-Indigenous people – who celebrate together in the small community. 

Over the years, the festival has grown in popularity and is now recognised as one of the most significant Indigenous cultural events in Australia. It features a range of activities, including traditional dance and music performances, art exhibitions, workshops, sports competitions and cultural talks.

It is at the Barunga Festival in 1988 that the Barunga Statement was presented to the then Prime Minister of Australia, Bob Hawke. Read more about the Barunga Statement here. 

Man playing didgeridoo on stage
Image: Tourism NT/Peter Eve

Local Authority

An integral part of the community consultation process in Barunga occurs through Barunga Local Authority Meetings. The Local Authority is made up of the Elected Member/s who sit on Council for the Nyirranggulung Ward and are nominated representatives from the community. All stakeholders in Barunga are invited to attend the Local Authority Meetings. The resolutions made at these meetings form the basis of all planning made by Roper Gulf Regional Council.

To attend a Barunga Local Authority Meeting, click here

To view our Local Authority Meeting dates, agendas and minutes, click here