Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Wadeye NT


Postcode: 0822

Wadeye ( 14°14’S, 129°31’E) is a town in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Wadeye (pronounced wod-air) was formerly known (and is still often referred to) as Port Keats. The town is remote, situated on the western edge of the Daly River Reserve more than 200 km south west of Darwin, with road access being cut off by flooding during the wet season. Year round access is via light aircraft or coastal barge only. At the 2001 census, Wadeye had a population of 1,053.

A mission station was founded by Catholic Father Richard Docherty in 1935 at Werntek Nganayi (Old Mission), and subsequently moved to a new location with superior water, gardening and building sites and landing place.

Wadeye is mainly inhabited by Indigenous Australians. It is the largest indigenous community in the Northern Territory. The inhabitants include seven language groups, the main language that is spoken being Murrinhpatha.

In May 2006, Wadeye featured on national news with reports of gang violence in the community.