Maranboy Travel Guide

  • Central Arnhem Road to Maranboy Near Stuart Hwy
    Central Arnhem Road to Maranboy Near...
    by AlbuqRay
  • Maranboy Creek
    Maranboy Creek
    by AlbuqRay
  • Abandoned Maranboy Tin Mine
    Abandoned Maranboy Tin Mine
    by AlbuqRay

Maranboy Things to Do

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 18, 2012

    At Maranboy the ore was mined on top of the hill and processed on the north side of the hill. These pits or collapsed tunnels were where the ore was located. The rock-lined pools were probably filled with water pumped up from Maraboy Creek. The 10-headstamper battery where the ore was crushed is just below the rock-lined pools.

    Pit at Old Maranboy Tin Mine Tunnel at Old Maranboy Tin Mine Pits at Old Maranboy Tin Mine Pool at Old Maranboy Tin Mine Pools at Old Maranboy Tin Mine
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  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 17, 2012

    The H&R Savannah Way travel guide has really good information on Maranboy: "It's well worth the drive, 5km further east past the turn-off to Manyallaluk, to see this area. Even as you look at the old buildings and abandoned machinery, it's hard to believe that Maranboy was once a flourishing town, with a population that peaked, as did the price of tin, at about 100 in the late 1920's. Tin was first discovered in 1913 by Jim Sharber and Tom Richardson and for 36 years Maranboy was the Territory's principle producer; finally closing in 1962. They had a resident mine manager, a large mill, a hospital and their own train, all to support a major tin mining industry. The police station, first opened in the late 1800's, is still in operation, albeit in a new building since1980! Click here [link did not work] and enter the search term "Maranboy" to view some intriguing photos from the past and the present. The mine was a focal point for the whole region for many years, and for many aboriginal people this was their first contact with white people. Several prominent aboriginal painters from the area used to work at the mine; click here or here for further info. Although the local people lived happily in their environment, click here [link did not work] and spare a thought for the long suffering mine manager's wife. Like so many women who came to the Territory in the early days, it was she who faced the daily hardships of creating a home in such an alien environment! Many of these women relied to a great extent on the help cheerfully given by the local women, and many life long friendships were forged."

    OzOutback tells us that life was tough in Maranboy. Miners had to endure food shortages and fever. At one stage 90 percent of the miners were stricken down. I guessed that it was probably because the mine sits on a small hill next to Maranboy Creek, which looks like it might have a mozzie or two, and later I found out that Maranboy had a malaria problem in those days. BTW, OzOutback gives a different year for when the tin mining finished. They say that Maranboy was abandoned in 1946.

    Outback Metals says "The Maranboy tin field was worked intermittently between 1913 and 1952 (battery closed)." So these different sources say the mine was finally closed in 1946, 1952 or 1962 (none of which match the 1915 plus 36 years). Guess you get to pick.

    The ruins can still be seen, including the battery and ore crusher. I cannot identify most of the equipment but I'll also include a travelogue here with more pictures of it.

    10-Headstamper Battery Near Top of Tin Mine Top of Maranboy Tin Mine Hill View from Top of Maranboy Tin Mine Hill Maranboy Creek Bridge (Looking from Near Mine) Looking Up Maranboy Tin Mine Hill
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  • Maranboy Hotels

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Maranboy Warnings and Dangers

  • 1+1's Profile Photo

    by 1+1 Written Feb 27, 2005

    You may get the impression, quite correctly, that you're in the middle of no where and that "open" speed limits apply, at Maranboy itself there is an 80 KPH limit. You may not notice the police outpost since it's on top of a hill surrounded by trees. But remember that the police have little to do out there apart from watching TV via satellite, or booking people who speed through.

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Maranboy Off The Beaten Path

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 18, 2012

    Where the Central Arnhem Road crosses Maranboy Creek (~20 km east of the Stuart Highway) is a beautiful place. It may be spring fed. With a tin deposit just above it, there is no doubt that it was a sacred Aboriginal site, but I can find no information in that regard. When I went down to the bridge to take pictures, there was a large splash upstream on the north side. Zig (1+1) said it could have been a fish, water lizard or "freshy" (fresh water crocodile). Just be careful if you go there. The pool on the south side had beautiful blue water lilies.

    South Side of Maranboy Creek Bridge Where Heard Big Splash North of Bridge Central Arnhem Road Crossing Maranboy Creek Pool on South Side of Maranboy Creek Bridge Blue Water Lilies in Maranboy Creek South Pool
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  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 17, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Zig and I did not go to the police station. We just went past the turn to it and saw part of it across the creek from the hill where the old tin mine is located. When I saw it on Google Earth later, it was much bigger than I expected, since it is in a really remote location. The turn to the police station is on the Central Arnhem Road, ~19.5 km east of the Stuart Highway and just west of Maranboy Creek.

    The Northern Territory Police Museum and Historical Society has a good web page on Maranboy. The details listed are

    Pronunciation: Marran-boy.
    Nearby communities: Beswick, Bulman, Barunga, Manyallaluk.
    Location: 70 km south of Katherine on the Central Arnhem Highway.
    Patrol area: 23 000 sq km, including four major Aboriginal communities and four cattle stations.
    Police in the community: Although Beswick, Barunga and Manyallaluk are Alcohol Restricted Zones under the Liquor Act, permits to drink at home are issued and police attend alcohol related incidents.
    Members also attend to the general duties of motor vehicle registration, firearms licensing and regular patrols.
    Services: The nearest school, health clinic and shop are at Barunga, 10 km east along the highway. Members generally travel to Katherine for supplies.
    Housing: There are two three-bedroom homes and a one- bedroom unit as the Visiting Officer’s Quarters.
    Recreation activities: Fishing, hunting, and bush recreational activities. Barunga has an AFL team playing local competition. The annual Barunga Festival is a major event on the Aboriginal and tourist calendar.
    Nearby attractions: Beswick Falls, 55 km east. Nitmaluk Gorge and National Park. Beswick Creek is an area rich in rock art.
    Population: 1500 -1700 in the area with some seasonal variation.

    The Northern Territory Emergency Service (NTES) also has a volunteer unit at the Maranboy Police Station.

    Turn to Maranboy Police Station Police Station Buildings and Maranboy Creek Sign Police Station from Top of Old Maranboy Tin Mine Police Station from Below Old Maranboy Tin Mine
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