Trip Planner

Frequently asked questions about travelling to East Arnhem Land.

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Where is East Arnhem Land?

East Arnhem Land is located in the north-eastern corner of the Northern Territory in Australia. The regional hub of Nhulunbuy is located on the north-eastern tip of the Gove Peninsula and is flanked by the Yolŋu communities of Yirrkala and Gunyaŋara. Nhulunbuy is 600 kilometres east of Darwin, or approximately 1,000 kilometres by road.


How do I get to East Arnhem Land?

You can visit East Arnhem Land by either driving the Central Arnhem Road or flying from Cairns or Darwin. Learn more here.


What are the current COVID-19 travel restrictions for East Arnhem Land?

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page is regularly monitored and updated as new information becomes available regarding travelling to East Arnhem Land. It is recommended that anyone travelling to East Arnhem Land keeps up to date with the information on this page.


How do I get to/from Gove Airport?

Gove Taxis offer transport to and from Gove Airport from Nhulunbuy township. You can contact Gove Taxis on 131 008 (if calling when in Nhulunbuy) or (08) 8987 1144 (if calling from outside Nhulunbuy). There is currently no shuttle bus service operating at Gove Airport.


Is there fuel available on the Central Arnhem Road?

Yes, you can purchase fuel along the Central Arnhem Road at Mainoru Store which is approximately 200km from Katherine, or 480km from Nhulunbuy. Read more about travelling the Central Arnhem Road here


Can I camp anywhere along the Central Arnhem Road?

Roadside camping is not permitted along the Central Arnhem Road This includes gravel pits. There are a number of campsites along the Central Arnhem Road. It is recommended you book a campsite in advance of your arrival to avoid disappointment. You can read more about travelling the Central Arnhem Road and what accommodation/camping options are available along the way here.


Do I need a permit or licence to fish in East Arnhem Land?

No fishing licences are required to fish in the Northern Territory. A Blue Mud Bay – Tidal Fishing registration may be required if fishing in intertidal waters across the East Arnhem coast. This permit is not required for the majority of the Gove Peninsula coastline but is required for most of the remainder of the East Arnhem Land coastline. The permit is free and takes only a couple of minutes to apply. Read more about the Blue Mud Bay - Tidal Fishing licence here


What types of fish can I catch in East Arnhem Land?

Noteworthy species caught in East Arnhem Land include barramundi, mangrove jack, dhufish, red emperor, coral trout, Spanish mackerel and for those keen on a challenge, blue marlin and sailfish.


Can I swim in East Arnhem Land?

Saltwater crocodiles inhabit all waterways within East Arnhem Land and swimming is not recommended. However, there are some recreational areas where people frequently swim at their own risk. If you choose to swim at your own risk, it is important to remain Crocwise at all times.


Can I travel from Numbulwar to Nhulunbuy via the SEAL track?

The South East Arnhem Land (SEAL) track connects Numbulwar to the Central Arnhem Road.

This road is only open to local traffic and the Northern Land Council currently does not issue permits to tourists wishing to drive this route.

If you are an essential worker, you can apply for permits through the Northern Land Council.


Can I travel from East Arnhem to West Arnhem via the Top Track?

The Top Track connects the West Arnhem Land communities of Jabiru, Gunbalanya (Oenpellli) and Maningrida to East Arnhem Land via Ramingining and the Central Arnhem Road.

This road is only open to local traffic and the Northern Land Council currently does not issue permits to tourists wishing to drive this route.

If you are an essential worker, you can apply for permits through the Northern Land Council.


How do I get around East Arnhem Land?

If you don’t have your own vehicle and aren’t joining a tour where transport is included, it is highly recommended you hire a 4WD to get around. There is so much to see and do in East Arnhem Land and having your own transport will be well worth it! A list of car hire companies in Nhulunbuy and Darwin can be viewed here.  


Can I bring my caravan or camper trailer to East Arnhem Land?

Yes, caravans and camper trailers are permitted to travel the Central Arnhem Road into East Arnhem Land. Camper trailers and caravans should be heavy duty and built for off road driving. Road access can change during the year depending on conditions. Read more about travelling to East Arnhem Land with your camper trailer or caravan here.