Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website might contain images of people who are deceased.

Trip Planner


COVID-19 Update

Current permits requirements have changed slightly to protect remote communities across East Arnhem Land. 

Visit the COVID-19 Information Page for current permit information.


Depending on where you will be visiting in East Arnhem Land it is important to ensure that you have the right permits for your trip. General information about permits in East Arnhem Land is covered below, with the specific permits required listed on each recreational area and community throughout this website to make your travel to East Arnhem Land as easy as possible.

Why do I need a permit?

All of East Arnhem Land is Aboriginal land which means it is private land but traditional owners welcome visitors to the region and recreation areas.

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. Permits are an important part of ensuring you have the right access approvals to our beautiful region and respecting our traditional owners.

A permit is a written permission from Yolŋu traditional owners to enter their private land. The permit system is designed to help protect the privacy of Yolŋu communities, preserve Yolŋu culture, safeguard the natural environment and promote visitor safety in East Arnhem Land.

When will I need a permit?

In most circumstances you will need to apply for a permit to:

  • travel by road through Aboriginal land (note: this does not apply to public roads)
  • enter or visit an Aboriginal community or homeland
  • visit camping and recreational areas in East Arnhem Land.

Who issues permits?

There are two type of permits you will need for your East Arnhem Land adventure. Both are easily obtained online.

Cultural TNT JamesFisher 3 1000

Northern Land Council

The Northern Land Council is a statutory authority established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 to represent traditional owners in management of Aboriginal land across the Top End. All of East Arnhem Land is Aboriginal land granted under this legislation, so the Northern Land Council has an important role is granting access to our region.

The Northern Land Council manages three types of permit relevant to tourists visiting East Arnhem Land:

  • Transit permit - required when travelling through Aboriginal Land (Central Arnhem Road)
  • Recreational Permit - required when accessing Aboriginal Land for recreational purposes (camping or fishing at designated areas)
  • Blue Mud Bay Tidal Fishing Permit - required when accessing intertidal waters on Aboriginal Land that are not covered by existing access arrangements

Permits are required when travelling on the Central Arnhem Road as well as when visiting most Aboriginal communities in East Arnhem Land.

Blue Mud Bay Tidal Fishing Permit

From 1 March 2021, the Northern Land Council introduced a new permit called the ‘Blue Mud Bay – Tidal Fishing’ permit. Blue Mud Bay Tidal Fishing permits are required when accessing intertidal waters on Aboriginal Land that are not covered by existing access arrangements. Most of the Gove Peninsula coastline is covered by an existing arrangement with Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation and Blue Mud Bay Tidal Fishing permits are not required to access these areas.

This permit is free and is automatically granted after submitting a short form through the Northern Land Council’s online permit system. The process takes approximately 5 minutes.

It’s important to note that this permit just covers intertidal waters and does not permit the permit holder to come ashore without valid permits. In an emergency fisherman may seek safety ashore without a permit.

COVID-19 permit information

The Northern Land Council has specific requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information visiting our COVID-19 information page

APPLY ONLINE

 CAR JordyBowman 1000

Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation

Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation (Dhimurru) is a Yolŋu owned and operated not for profit organisation. Established in 1993, Dhimurru was given the responsibility by traditional owners to manage the Dhimurru Indigenous Protected Area that covers 550,000 hectares of Aboriginal land and sea country in the northern parts of East Arnhem Land.

Yolŋu, with the help of Dhimurru, implemented the recreation areas and permit system to enable residents and visitors of East Arnhem Land to recreate whilst providing better environmental and cultural protection of these areas. The Dhimurru Rangers are all Yolŋu and undertake land management activities, including managing the Dhimurru Recreation Areas

Dhimurru manage two types of permits:

Visitor Access Permit 

Visitor Access Permits have a number of different lengths of time from three days for visitors to 12 months for residents. The Visitor Access Permit enables you to access Dhimurru Recreation Areas for Day Use such as walking and visiting beaches or inland waterways.

APPLY FOR VISITOR ACCESS PERMIT HERE

Camping Permit 

Camping Permits are required when you intend to stay overnight at a recreational area with camping facilities, or visit one of the recreation areas with special access restrictions and vehicle limits. There is a small charge associated per night per person with Camping Permits, which supports the ongoing maintenance of facilities and environmental protection initiatives. You must have a Visitor Access Permit to be able to book a Camping Permit.

APPLY CAMPING PERMIT HERE

 Goanna RebeccaJohnston 2020 1 1000

Anindilyakwa Land Council

The Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) is a statutory authority established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 to represent traditional owners in management of Aboriginal land across the Groote Archipelago.

The ALC manages one type of access permit relevant to tourists visiting Groote Eylandt:

  • Recreation Permit

To access any of the recreational areas on Groote Eylandt an application for a Recreation Permit will need to be completed and returned to the ALC Groote Eylandt office at 30 Bougainvillea Drive, Alyangula Groote Eylandt or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION