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4WD driving in Arnhem Land in Arnhem Land

Arnhem WayDrive Katherine – Nhulunbuy

Drive the Arnhem Way and discover one of Australia’s last unspoilt areas. From Katherine to Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula – be prepared for an adventure.

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.

When travelling to Arnhem Land you’ll require a permit from the Northern Land Council. These permits are necessary to preserve the culture and beauty of the region.


Arnhem Land offers unique Aboriginal cultural experiences. Take a locally guided tour or visit the art and craft galleries to gain a deeper understanding of the traditional practices that are still used today.


The Arnhem Land coastline is home to some of Australia’s mostpristine beaches just waiting to be explored. Join a fishing charter and spend the day reeling in impressive sports fish or take a bush walk through stunning wetlands where you can spot native wildlife and rare birds.


You’ll find some of the best sports fishing in the world with the opportunity to 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.

Arnhem Way top 10

  1. Explore the beaches and fresh water holds of the Dhimurru recreational areas on a four-wheel drive camping adventure
  2. Jump on a scenic 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 Beach Retreat on Bremer Island for an impressive eco experience
  8. Jump on one of the blue water fishing charters based in Nhulunbuy/Gove
  9. Make time for a sunset drink at the Gove Boat Club or Surf Club
  10. Experience picturesque camping (with a permit) along the East Arnhem Land coast.


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

Please ensure you consider the following steps before travelling to the region.

  1. A permit from Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation is required to visit any area outside of Nhulunbuy township, and a number of areas within the township boundaries.

    Apply for a Dhimurru permit here: Rez Expert - Online Reservation.

  2. Those driving to Nhulunbuy or any area of East Arnhem Land via the Central Arnhem Road are required to apply for a transit permit through the Northern Land Council (NLC).

    Apply for an NLC permit here: Transit Permit | Northern Land Council (

  3. Check the official East Arnhem Land visitor information site to learn more about permits and travelling to the region.

Note: if youre undertaking a trip as part of an organised tour, they may organise permits on your behalf. Please check with your tour provider at the time of booking.

Remember to plan your trip with these road safety tips before starting your Northern Territory roadtrip adventure.

Download the Arnhem Way itinerary


Suggested itinerary




Day 1

Katherine to Mainoru Store


Day 2

Mainoru Store to Nhulunbuy (Gove)


Day 3 & 4

Nhulunbuy to Dhimurru Recreation Areas (return)

approx. 130km

Day 5

Nhulunbuy to Bremer Island

Leave car in Nhulunbuy

Day 6

Bremer Island to Nhulunbuy

Leave car in Nhulunbuy

Day 7

Nhulunbuy to Katherine


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Arnhem Way highlights

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