Cullen Bay Dredging

The Northern Territory Government is undertaking crucial maintenance dredging in the Cullen Bay outer harbour to ensure the continuation of ferry service to Mandorah and the Tiwi Islands.


Once complete, the maintenance dredging works will eliminate the need to cancel ferry services during the low tidal periods.


Maintenance dredging of the harbour occurs every 5 to 7 years and includes the removal of approximately 91,000 cubic metres of sediment build up and relocating it to a new area.

During the project, there will be minimal impact to Cullen Bay residents and ferry services as activities will take place during day light hours and be scheduled around the ferry timetable.

Access in and out of the marina will be maintained at all times. Boat users will need to exercise caution around the dredging equipment and maintain a safe distance.

Consultation with the Northern Territory Environmental Protection Authority has been undertaken to identify a suitable location to dispose of the dredged sediment, which is approximately 1.5km west of Cullen Bay and be will dispersed primarily on existing intertidal mudflats. 

Dredging activities will be conducted in accordance with industry best practice and statutory requirements. Regular monitoring of the water quality will be conducted throughout the project to ensure that it remains within the agreed limits of the Dredging License.

The image below illustrates the dredging area:

cullen bay dredging diabram 

Project Timeline

Dredging commenced on 30 October 2017 and is anticipated to continue through to the end of February 2018, weather permitting.

Additional information

A Cullen Bay dredging fact sheet (231.1 kb) is now available to download.


If you would like further information or would like to raise any concerns, please contact the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Manager Projects, Sumesh Dhir via email to or phone 8999 4864.

Last updated: 28 November 2017