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Trip Planner

Journey through 60,000 years of history

The central arnhem road 

Experience a true outback adventure on one of Australia’s most iconic drives. 

Experience one of Australia’s most iconic drives, the Central Arnhem Road, and discover the road less travelled in East Arnhem Land. The Central Arnhem Road will take you on a journey through 60,000 years of history in East Arnhem Land’s vast untouched wilderness. This is where adventures are made, and unforgettable experiences are had.

Central Arnhem Road itinerary

Download Central Arnhem Road map

About the Central Arnhem Road

The Central Arnhem Road is a designated state route in the Northern Territory providing the main overland access to East Arnhem Land. The Central Arnhem Road is 675km long and is predominately unsealed dirt with a few small river crossings along the way. The drive begins 50km south of Katherine and finishes in Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula.

The Central Arnhem Road travels mainly through private Aboriginal land,but traditional owners welcome visitors to the region and to travel along the road with permission. Like other landowners in Australia, Aboriginal people have the legal right to grant or refuse permission to people wishing to enter or travel through their land. Obtaining a permit to travel the Central Arnhem Road is an important part of ensuring you have the right access approvals to our beautiful region and respecting our traditional owners. The permit you will require to travel the Central Arnhem Road is free and easy to get. Find out more information here.

Allow yourself at least a few days to truly immerse yourself in the adventure of the Central Arnhem Road and all it has to offer.

Central Arnhem Road with car

Must dos before you drive

  • A permit is required from the Northern Land Council to travel the Central Arnhem Road.  This permit is free and easy to get - find out more information here.
  • A four wheel drive vehicle is recommended for the Central Arnhem Road.
  • Camping trailers and caravans should be heavy duty.
  • Make sure you check access before you travel. Road conditions can change frequently during the year. The NT Roads Report and Central Arnhem Road Facebook Group are useful resource for travellers.
  • Book your Central Arnhem Road accommodation in advance to make sure you get in!
  • Travellers are recommended to check their insurance policy before towing a caravan along the road. 

Explore the untouched landscapes

There is plenty of untouched landscapes and recreational areas to discover along the Central Arnhem Road. Most of the recreational areas also offer camping if you decide you need that little bit of extra time to soak up the experience!

See more places to explore

Where to stay

There is a range of accommodation for travellers along the Central Arnhem Road, from campsites where you can roll a swag out under the night sky to art centres where you can immerse yourself in the local culture.

See all accommodation