Indigenous Protected Areas


"The land will exist forever. It must be protected so that it will remain the same, so that it can be seen in the same way that the elders saw it in the past. Our vision and hope is that Yolngu will continue to use the land for all the generations to come."
- Roy Dadaynga Marika MBE

The Dhimurru Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) was declared in 2000 - it was the first land/sea IPA in Australia. Situated at the western edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Dhimurru includes 920 square kilometres of coastline and hinterland country. The coasts are home to sandy beaches, rocky coastal islands, and ancient dune systems, while the Guwatjurumurru river flows through cascades and rockpools to the coastal plain.

This IPA is in the traditional land of the Yolngu people, and many Yolngu people work as rangers on the IPA. They manage the land to counter the stresses associated with increased tourism, maintaining significant sites, removing marine debris, and monitoring and protecting the wildlife. Their work was recognised in 2014 with the Northern Territory beach of Nhulunbuy winning the Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Clean Beaches Awards, and Dame Phyllis Frost Litter Prevention award. 

Dhimurru is an inspirational example of traditional owners applying their knowledge and connection with land for conservation outcomes, improving local job prospects and strengthening the community.

Yupunu Marika and Grace Wunungmurra receive Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Beaches Award. Photo credit: Keep Australia Beautiful