Tourism NT & Rachael Stewart
Northern Territory
Arnhem Land Arnhem Land is made up of 91,000 square kilometres of unspoiled wilderness bordered by Kakadu National Park, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Travellers wishing to visit Arnhem Land must obtain a permit in advance from the Northern Land Council. Alternatively, many organised tours visit the region, and in these cases, a permit is usually organised by the tour operator. Arnhem Land is rich in culture and features a diverse landscape characterised by wild coastlines, towering escarpments, savannah woodlands and wetlands teeming with wildlife. The park protects wetlands of international importance and provides a habitat for abundant wildlife, including crocodiles, dugongs, nesting turtles and migratory birds. The town of Maningrida, on the north coast of Arnhem Land, is famous for its indigenous art. Gunbalanya, one of the first stops east of Kakadu National Park, is an Aboriginal community where indigenous artists gather at the Injalak Art and Craft Centre. An open day is held in Gunbalanya usually during July when travellers can visit freely and enjoy the cultural activities without a permit. The town of Nhulunbuy is located on the Gove Peninsula, approximately 600 kilometres east of Darwin. It is a major service centre, providing accommodation and supplies, and offers spectacular beaches and great fishing. There are many areas of historic significance including the ruins of an early European colony at Victoria Settlement in Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on the secluded Coburg Peninsula and the Black Point Cultural Centre which displays Aboriginal, Macassan and European histories of the area.
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Things to do
Discover Aboriginal artists at the Aboriginal Anindilyakwa Arts
Anindilyakwa Arts was established in 2005 by the Anindilyakwa Land Council to support local artists to promote and sell their artwork. Anindilyakwa Arts is now a thriving hub of creativity - currently representing the work of over 100 Anindilyakwa artists. The art centre operates across Angurugu, Umbakumba & Milyakburra communities as well as supporting artists who live on homeland outstations across the archipelago. The Art Centre's gallery is located at the Groote Eylandt Lodge (Dugong Beach Resort). Groote Eylandt archipelago is a small collection of islands south-west of Nhulunbuy township and is aboriginal reserve land represented managed by the Anindilyakwa Land Council. Items available through Anindilyakwa Art include naturally hand-dyed textiles, paintings (ochres and acrylics on canvas, bark and shells), weavings, handcrafted jewellery, ceremonial and traditional wood works and carvings (spears, woomeras, coolamons, clap sticks, miniature canoes, didgeridoos, boomerangs and carved animals).
Learn about Aboriginal Culture at the Buku Larrnggay Mulka Centre
The Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, located in Yirrkala near Nhulunbuy, houses a collection of Yolngu, Aboriginal, bark paintings, carvings and artefacts. The museum includes the original church panels that are of great historical and cultural significance. There is also an extensive history of Yolngu service in World War II and a collection of stories and petitions relating to the Yirrikala area. The centre also has a retail outlet.
Gayngaru Wetlands Interpretive Walk
Find out more about the fascinating world of an East Arnhem Land wetland on the Gayngaru Wetlands Interpretive Walk. Secrete yourself away in a bird hide to watch the birds that visit the lagoon, or take the winter or tropical summer walks past informative signs. The walk circumnavigates a lagoon that is frequented by over 200 species of birds. Along the path, there are two viewing platforms and a bird hide. Learn about the area's plant life. Signs along the way explain the bush food and bush medicine used by local Aboriginal people. Gayngaru was once a popular and fertile hunting area for the Yolngu people. Today you will see middens consisting of fragments of shellfish, molluscs and oyster shells at favourite camping sites. The tranquil lagoon was a source of freshwater and food. The men hunted the gurrumatji (magpie geese) and as well as minhala (long-necked freshwater tortoise). The women collected waterlilies and water chestnuts. Pick up an interpretative booklet from the Visitor Information Centre. The length of the walk varies depending on the season and the lagoon's water levels, but there is plenty to see at any time of the year.
Have a unique experience at the Groote Eylandt Lodge
Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria is known for its pristine natural and marine environment, spectacular scenery, Aboriginal art and culture, and some of the best fishing in the world. The traditional owners of the Groote Eylandt archipelago region are the Warnindilyakwa people, referred to by their language name, Anindilyakwa. Groote Eylandt Lodge offers quality waterfront accommodation, incorporating Seagrass Restaurant a conference suite, day spa, art centre and cultural experiences, and Sports Fishing Operation. World-class fishing The archipelago and its natural environment is unique, with pristine beaches, spring water swimming holes, open woodland, rainforest and dunes. The marine environment surrounding the island has complex reef systems and a rich fishery. Why it's a fishing mecca It's isolated-zero pressure from commercial fishing operators and virtually none from recreational anglers mean fish stocks around Groote are incredibly healthy. Ideal breeding habitats-the archipelago's fringing coral reefs, rocky headlands and sand islands create plenty of sheltered breeding areas for baitfish. This abundance of bait is what brings in the big sportfish anglers love to catch. Every tropical species is here-sailfish, marlin, Spanish mackerel, huge GTs, mangrove Jacks, golden snapper, queenfish and the mighty barramundi.
True remote beauty - Dhimurru Recreational Area
The Recreation Areas managed by Dhimurru offers a wide range of settings, from sandy white beaches and rugged coastline to expanses of open forests and shaded inland waterways. There are opportunities for fishing, boating, camping, walking and exploring the diverse vegetation and landscape. Recreation destinations are signposted. Anyone wanting to visit these Recreation Areas must obtain a Dhimurru General Permit before they go. Dhimurru is an incorporated Aboriginal organisation established by Yolngu land-owners in Northeast Arnhem Land, Australia. The office is located in Nhulunbuy (Gove).
Cruise the East Alligator River
Kakadu Cultural Tours are owned and operated by Djabulukgu Association representing the Traditional Owners of Northern Kakadu and parts of Western Arnhem Land. We specialise in Aboriginal cultural & nature-based cruises, tours & wilderness lodge accommodation in this World Heritage Area. Guests travel in small groups by comfortable 4WD vehicles & boats, escorted by expert guides, predominantly Aboriginal, ensuring high standards of service & unique cultural experience. The Guluyambi Cultural Cruise is a unique boat tour on Kakadu’s scenically spectacular East Alligator River. Take in the wonderful pristine wilderness of this World Heritage landscape as you leisurely cruise upstream. An Aboriginal guide provides guests with an insight into their culture & local mythology, the river’s abundant food chain, traditional uses for many plants & animals as well as bush survival skills. Disembark on the Arnhem Land side of the river for a display of traditional hunting & gathering implements. Limited to just 25 guests, the Cruise ensures an intimate & personalised cultural experience.
Experience one of Australia’s most remote resorts at the Banubanu
Banubanu is located on Bremer Island, in North East Arnhem Land, with flights into Nhulunbuy from Darwin and Cairns – a 15-minute flight will get you to Bremer Island from Nhulunbuy. The resort offers glamping next to world-class beaches, with five private beachfront rooms and an exclusive elevated penthouse. All rooms are fan-cooled with ensuites and beachfront decks. This exclusive resort accommodates only 12 guests at a time with an elevated restaurant, bar and pool overlooking the western bay, which offers stunning views of the Arafura Sea. All meals are prepared by a qualified chef who serves unforgettable dining experiences. Activities to be enjoyed at the resort include bluewater fishing, cultural tours, birdwatching and turtle nesting or you can simply relax in paradise and escape form reality.
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