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Trip Planner

Your caravan and camper trailer guide to East Arnhem Land

Find the best places to enjoy the natural refreshment and stunning beauty of East Arnhem Land in your caravan or camper trailer with our guide. 

Camping DebMcLean 1Image credit: Deb McLean

DRIVING THE CENTRAL ARNHEM ROAD

Driving the Central Arnhem Road is a once in a lifetime experience for visitors to East Arnhem Land (for locals it more of a regular occurrence). As you meander your way through the tropical savannah of Arnhem Land, you will likely encounter wild buffalos, imposing termite mounds, the odd river crossing and more red dirt than you’ll know what to do with.

The Central Arnhem Road is 675 kilometres long and is predominately unsealed dirt with a few small river crossings along the way. The drive begins 50 kilometres south of Katherine and you should expect to be in Nhulunbuy after 8 to 10 hours of driving (not including your rest stops).

The first step in planning your journey is to make sure you have all the gear to get to Nhulunbuy safe and sound.

Things to consider before embarking on the journey:

  • Do I have a 4WD and safety gear? (travel tips here)

  • Is my caravan or camper built for off-road?

  • How good is my suspension for my car and caravan or camper?

  • What is the current condition of the Central Arnhem Road?

  • How fast you drive?

Camper trailers and caravans should be heavy duty, off-road models when travelling along the Central Arnhem Road. Road access can change during the year depending on conditions and it is recommended to check road conditions on the NT Roads Report website and The Facebook Group – Central Arnhem Road before embarking on your journey.

Central Arnhem Road Facebook page is full of active members who are able to provide advice on driving the road and anecdotes about current road conditions. 

The second step in planning your journey is to determine your dates.

This is important to make sure you are applying for permits for the correct dates.

You can read about current permit requirements here.

The third step is planning where you are going to stay and what you are going to do along the way.

You can check out our suggested Central Arnhem Road itinerary for some inspiration. While it may be tempting, camping on the side of the road is not allowed.

Most visitors stay their first night at the Mainoru Store, located 250 kilometres from Katherine and offers visitors travelling in caravans and camper trailers the chance to take a break in their journey and set up camp on their luscious green lawns. From the Mainoru Store, travellers either stay a night at Dholuwuy Campground located on the shores of Blue Mud Bay or choose to travel directly to Nhulunbuy.  

IMG 4832Mainoru Store campgrounds

STAYING IN NHULUNBUY

Nhulunbuy is the perfect spot to base yourself while exploring the region. Set up camp in Nhulunbuy and spend the days venturing out to see the sights in your vehicle, coming home in the evenings to the comfort of your home away from home.

Nhulunbuy has a great range of services including a Woolworths and has close access to a wide range of recreational areas, fishing charters and cultural experiences. For the caravaners, there is also a dump point on Bottlebrush Avenue in Nhulunbuy.

The Walkabout Lodge located in the heart of Nhulunbuy, and the Gove Boat Club's Manyimi Campground located a short 15 minute drive out of Nhulunbuy both offer powered sites with shared toilet and shower facilities and welcome visitors traveling in caravans and camper trailers.

006 resized 1000Walkabout Lodge and Tavern - Nhulunbuy

CAMPING AROUND THE GOVE PENINSULA

Have you heard about the off the beaten track and picturesque camping areas in East Arnhem Land, but aren’t sure if you can take your camper trailer or caravan? We have all the tips right here to ensure your journey goes off without a hitch!

Camping DebMclean 3Baṉambarrŋa (Rainbow Cliffs) - Image credit: Deb McLean

camper trailers

For those travelling with camper trailers, there are several options for you to choose from to set up camp and enjoy a night under the stars.

The following Dhimurru Recreational Areas welcome low impact camper trailers provided they are single axle, have no internal toilet/shower or waste management system and can be towed with a standard, single rear axle 4WD vehicle:

If you require more specific advice about accessing any of the Dhimurru Recreational Areas with your type of caravan or camper trailer, contact Dhimurru's Nhulunbuy office on (08) 8939 2700.

caravans

Caravans are only permitted at the Manyimi Campground and Walkabout Lodge campsites in Nhulunbuy. 

To make sure you don’t miss out on our beautiful region the Gove Boat Club is more than happy to store your van for a small fee while you get out there and enjoy the other recreational areas, providing you have been or will be a guest at the Manyimi Campgrounds. If you are thinking of doing this, make sure to phone and chat to them in advance to let them know you are coming as spaces are limited. 

GoveBoatClub camping 3Manyimi Campgrounds - Gove Boat Club

Have more questions about travelling to East Arnhem Land with your caravan or camper trailer? Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Need some inspiration for what to see and do while in East Arnhem Land? Check out our Gove Peninsula in Seven Days itinerary for all the best tips to make your experience unforgettable.
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