The Manton Dam was built during WW11 as a water supply for Darwin and is now a popular water sports destination.
There are two different areas at the dam site, one is a quiet picnic area at the dam wall, the other is the picnic and water sports area further along the dam and accessed via a road from the Stuart Highway about 5 kilometres further south.
To reach the first area, turn off the Highway at the Manton River Bridge and a few hundred yards along a narrow sealed road you will find the lower picnic area at the foot of the dam wall.
The original pumping station for sending the water to Darwin is still standing with the pumps and machinery inside visible through the windows.
Beginning at the pump station, a long board walk takes visitors to the foot of the dam wall along the side of a steep hill.
A quiet shallow pool forms at the base of the wall where the overflow water enters the Manto River system again.
This used to be a good spot to bring the kids for a swim, but the growth in crocodile numbers has put a halt to that.
There is also a track with stone steps cut into the hill leading from the pump station to the top of the dam wall.
Looking out over the lake created by the dam wall from the top of the dam. The water skiing and recreation area is further up stream, out of sight from the dam wall.
If you are looking for a pleasant quiet spot for a picnic or interested in the history of the area , this is well worth a visit.
However if you want to go swimming, water skiing or fishing, travel further down the Stuart Highway and turn off into the Manton recreation area track, which will take you upstream to this.
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