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Drive the Arnhem Way and discover one of Australia’s last unspoilt areas. From Katherine to Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula, you’ll have a great adventure.

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Considered one of Australia’s last unspoilt areas, Arnhem Land is just waiting to be discovered. 

The Central Arnhem Road starts 50km south of Katherine and finishes in Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula and will take you on a four-wheel drive adventure through open savannah woodlands as you cross creeks and spot a variety of wildlife. 

Please note that when travelling to Arnhem Land you will require a permit from the Northern Land Council. These permits are necessary to preserve the beauty of Arnhem Land.

Do culture

Arnhem Land has a unique Indigenous culture that is perfectly interwoven into the experiences available. The small population is mainly Aboriginal people who live a traditional life. Take a cultural tour or visit the local art and craft galleries to experience authentic Aboriginal culture. 

This is the land where the didgeridoo originated, so make sure you visit the local art and craft galleries to secure your authentic souvenir.

Do adventure

This coastline is home to some of Australia’s most beautiful pristine beaches just waiting to be explored by you. Join a fishing charter and spend the day fishing, explore various bush walking and hiking trails through stunning wetland settings, where you can spot native wildlife and rare birds. 

Pitch a tent and camp the night with a local Aboriginal guide and finish the day with a sunset you will never forget.

Do fishing

You’ll find some of the best sports fishing in the world, in Arnhem Land. Here you can catch Red Emperor, Spanish Mackerel and Coral Trout. Make sure you jump on a blue water fishing experience with one of the charter tours available based in Nhulunbuy/Gove. 

For the more adventurous why not try and catch your lunch by spearfishing in the shallow waters.

Top 10 must do's for the East Arnhem Way

1) Explore the beaches and fresh water holds of the Dhimurru recreational areas on a four-wheel drive camping adventure

2) Jump on a charter flight and see the fantastic coastline and wildlife from above

3) Visit Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre at Yirrkala for local Indigenous arts and crafts

4) Take the self-guided interpretive walk on the trail around Gayngaru (Town Lagoon) or Gadalathami (Town Beach)

5) Visit the local beaches, East Woody, Middle Car Park, Cape Wirrwawuy or Town Beach for some stunning coastal views

6) Visit the Roy (Malpi) Marika Lookout for a view of Nhulunbuy and the coast

7) Escape to Banubanu Eco Wilderness Retreat on Bremer Island

8) Have a blue water fishing experience with one of the charter tours available based in Nhulunbuy/Gove

9) Make time for a sunset drink at the Gove Boat Club or Surf Club

10) Experience picturesque camping at isolated beaches along the East Arnhem Land coast

Suggested itinerary

Day  Destination Distance
Day 1 Katherine to Mainoru Store 250km 
Day 2  Mainoru Store to Nhulunbuy (Gove) 480km 
Day 3  Nhulunbuy to Dhimurru Recreation Areas 65km 
Day 4  Nhulunbuy to Bremer Island 10km 
Day 5  Bremer Island to Nhulunbuy 10km 
Day 6 Nhulunbuy to Katherine 730km 

Permits

Arnhem Land is Aboriginal Land Trust and permits are required for visiting beaches, parks, waterways and also accessing Aboriginal homelands. 

Permits are available through Katherine or Nhulunbuy Northern Land Council offices, and Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation either online or in person at the Dhimurru office in Nhulunbuy.

See Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation or East Arnhem Land for more information.

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Video Insiders Guide to East Arnhem Highway

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