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Trip Planner

Have the Aussie Salvage Squad inspired a trip to Gove?

We're here to give you the lowdown on how to visit Nhulunbuy and the broader East Arnhem Land region and what to do once you get here.

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Gove, also known as Nhulunbuy, is located at the top of the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory. The town was built in the 1970s to support nearby bauxite mining operations.

Today, Nhulunbuy is the sixth largest town in the Northern Territory and acts as the regional centre for the East Arnhem region and its 14,500 residents.

The drive to Nhulunbuy, along the Central Arnhem Road, is one of Australia’s least known adventure drives, covering over 685km, most of which is unsealed. Make sure you have an off-road vehicle, recovery gear and a safety kit just in case; you can travel for hours without coming across another vehicle.

You can read more about the drive and how to prepare via the Central Arnhem Road page.

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The Aussie Salvage Squad travelled to Nhulunbuy during the peak of the wet season, characterised by large amounts of rainfall and occasional flooding. The Central Arnhem Road remains open most times over the wet season, though the drive can be a bit more unpredictable. Most travellers choose to travel after the wet season has cleared. From April through until October/November, there shouldn’t be any trouble getting in and out of the region.

A transit permit is required to drive the Central Arnhem Road. The permit is free and easy to get through the Northern Land Council and makes sure you have the correct permissions to travel to East Arnhem Land. Most insurance companies ask for your permit if something goes wrong along the road and you need to make a claim.

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If drive journeys are not your style, you can also access Nhulunbuy by plane. Gove Airport (GOV) receives daily flights from Darwin and Cairns via Airnorth (Qantas codeshare available). Car hire is available for pick up directly from the airport.

Once you get to Gove...

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Melville Bay

Melville Bay is the location of the four vessels the Aussie Salvage Squad removed during their visit to Gove. The Gove Boat Club, on the shores of Melville Bay is well known for its lush campgrounds, cold beers and the best sunsets on the Gove Peninsula. The Club is a must visit when in Gove and the views out to the ocean are better than ever with the abandoned vessels removed. 

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Recreational areas

Around Gove there are a number of recreational areas managed by Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation. These areas are available for day use, overnight camping or both.

Areas you don’t want to miss include:

Take your time, there’s over 21 Dhimurru recreational areas to explore.

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Arts and culture

No visit to Nhulunbuy is complete without learning more about the local culture. The Yolŋu have inhabited East Arnhem Land for over 60,000 years and Yolŋu culture remains an integral part of daily life.

To learn more about Yolŋu culture, Lirrwi Tourism organises day and multi-day tours to several homelands across East Arnhem Land. As part of these tours, visitors can experience life on a Yolŋu homeland while hearing stories and learning new skills.

Buku Larrŋgay Mulka in the nearby community of Yirrkala houses a large collection of Yolŋu art and displays the Yirrkala Church Panels along with a replica of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions. The art centre is also a great place to pick up a gift or two before you return home.



East Arnhem Land offers keen fishers some of the best fishing available in Australia. Up for grabs are coral trout, blue marlin, sailfish, red emperors, dhufish and the prized barramundi. Multiple fishing operators run charters year-round, but the best fishing is known to occur from October through to March.

Experienced fishers can hire a boat through Gove Boat Hire. Rods and tackle can be included and there is no need to worry about not having a boat license, the NT doesn’t require you to have one.

Need more information about travelling to Gove? Send us an email!

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