Trip Planner

Highlights:
  • Immerse yourself in Yolŋu culture and art
  • Explore untouched landscapes
  • Discover Banubanu’s tropical island paradise
  • Have a hit at Australia's Top Golf Course 
  • Catch that once in a life time fish

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If you don’t have your own vehicle, you will need to hire a 4WD for this itinerary. There is so much to see and do in East Arnhem Land and having your own transport will be well worth it!

There are many accommodation options available, from a luxury retreat to camping under the stars. Wherever you stay, you’ll get a good night’s rest to make sure you are ready for your next day of adventures!

Day 1 - Nhulunbuy and surrounds

Rise early and head to Gayŋaru Wetlands to catch the sun rising over this tranquil wetland and the abundance of native wildlife waking up with the warmth of the sun. There is a three kilometre return walking trail that takes you on a journey following the edge of the wetlands with interpretive signing, viewing platforms and a bird hide – if you are lucky you might even get to spot a crocodile from one of the viewing platforms!

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Pick yourself up some breakfast from one of the local cafes and, jump in the car and head 15 minutes out of Nhulunbuy to the world-renowned Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Art Centre in the Yolŋu community of Yirrkala.  Spend an hour or two browsing the large range of inspiring artworks including bark paintings and larrakitj (memorial poles), yidakis (didjeridu), screen printing and fibre art, as well as the fabulous museum rich with Yolŋu history.

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Visit the locals’ favourite Gove Boat Club for afternoon drinks and dinner to end the day. Nhulunbuy is the self-proclaimed sunset capital of Australia and this is one of the best places to sit back, relax and take in the vibrant colours of a typical East Arnhem Land sunset! The Gove Boat Club has a large outside grassed area looking onto the beach with picnic tables for you to enjoy your delicious meal from The Waterfront Kitchen while watching the sunset over Melville Bay.

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Day 2 - Wanuwuy (CApe arnhem)

Rise early to embark on today’s adventure to the breathtaking peninsula called Wanuwuy, also known as Cape Arnhem. Wanuwuy is located on the eastern tip of East Arnhem Land and is a 50 kilometre drive from Nhulunbuy. The drive to Wanuwuy is spectacular and takes you on a wonderful journey along an escarpment, over sand dunes and along pristine stretches of beach. You will need a four wheel drive to travel here and, as much of the track is soft sand, it is recommended to let your tyre pressure down along the way. There is an information sign at the point where this is recommended.

Once you get to Wanuwuy you will instantly know why this is such a bragged about spot in East Arnhem Land for those who have visited. The white beaches stretch on for what seems like forever and the turquoise water is comparable to Bora Bora! There are several recreation areas located at the north eastern end of the peninsula with picnic tables and fire pits for use. It is highly recommended to spend at least one night camping here if you have the time – you will not regret it!

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Day 3 - Wathawuy (LATRAM RIVER)

Have a bit of a sleep in and then head to one of the local cafes for breakfast, picking up supplies for a picnic lunch while you are there. Today we head to the refreshing stream called Wathawuy, also know as Latram River and Goanna Lagoon. The drive to Wathawuy is only half an hour from Nhulunbuy so take your time and enjoy the drive - you may even spot a water buffalo along the way if you are lucky! There are many secluded areas at both Latram River and Goanna Lagoon to set up a picnic rug and settle into the peaceful surrounds for the day. The stream is generally shallow and clear and you will find many locals enjoy this spot for a swim on the hotter days. Make sure to always be crocwise around bodies of water as crocodiles do inhabit all waterways in East Arnhem Land.

Arriving back to Nhulunbuy in the late afternoon freshen up and head to Latitude 12, the Walkabout Lodge’s poolside restaurant for dinner. Enjoy the atmosphere of one of the local’s favourite hangouts for a tasty meal and refreshing cocktail.

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Day 4 - Banubanu BEACH RETREAT

Banubanu Beach Retreat is located on tropical Bremer Island and is just a 15 minute charter flight from Gove Airport or approximately an hour leisurely boat transfer from Nhulunbuy. The Banubanu team run regular day trips to the island allowing visitors to have a day in absolute paradise.

Spend the day at Banubanu Beach Retreat enjoying unguided walking trails, bird watching, beachcombing or even try your luck on a fishing charter! The Seabreeze Restaurant located at the retreat offers breathtaking views of the bay where you will often spot dolphins joyfully playing in the water while you enjoy a delicious meal or relax in the plunge pool!

Banubanu Beach Retreat does have eco friendly beachfront accommodation available and we recommend staying the night to really appreciate this slice of paradise if you have time! The accommodation is limited so if you are thinking of spending the night make sure you book in advance.

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Day 5 – BEACH HOP

Today’s journey is a fun beach hop showcasing some of East Arnhem Land’s most recognisable landscapes! Leave Nhulunbuy early to get the most out of your day, packing a picnic breakfast, lunch and dinner to enjoy the day from sunrise to sunset! All the areas you will be visiting today allow camping so if you think you might like to stay the night under the stars of East Arnhem Land, be sure to book your site in advance!  

Garanhan (Macassan beach)

First stop for the day is Garanhan, also known as Macassan Beach, which is a 38 kilometre drive from Nhulunbuy. Garanhan boasts bright red cliffs running parallel to the coastline, with the contrasting colours making for striking photos and an excellent spot to stop for breakfast! The waves crashing on the cliff forms small pools where you will often see small marine creatures such as crabs. After breakfast, take a walk through the Wurrwurrwuy stone pictures that provide a window into the fascinating trade between the Yolŋu of north-eastern Arnhem Land and the Macassans from the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. The relationship between these two cultures existed for several centuries prior to European settlement in Australia with visits documented as far back as the seventeenth century. 

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Ŋumuy (turtle beach)

Once you have explored Garanhan, jump in the car and head down the road for a few kilometres to Ŋumuy, also known as Turtle Beach. This charming little cove is a local favourite and you will have no trouble seeing why! There is plenty of shade on the beautiful white beach to throw out your picnic rug for lunch and relax for a while. Ŋumuy is also a stop along the Dhimurru Coastal Walking Trail for those looking to explore the coastline by foot.

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Bariŋura (Little bondi beach)

The last stop for the day is the spectacular Bariŋura, also know as Little Bondi Beach. The track into Bariŋura is mostly dirt with some sandy patches at the end so make sure your vehicle is four wheel drive and be prepared for some sand driving. This beach is a hidden gem with a stretch of squeaky white sand and crystal clear waters - if you are lucky enough you might even get it all to yourself! Stay for dinner at one of East Arnhem Land’s most iconic beaches and watch as the sun sets over the Gulf of Carpentaria to end a wonderful day of exploring.  

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Day 6 - CULTURAL IMMERSION

Spend a day immersing yourself in one of the oldest living cultures on Earth at a homeland such as Bawaka with Lirrwi Tourism. The one-day tour leaves Nhulunbuy at around 8am arriving into Bawaka homeland about an hour and a half later. On arrival, enjoy a traditional Welcome to Country. This tour provides you with the opportunity to learn about Yolŋu kinship systems and connection to land and sea, as well as experience traditional spear fishing and crab hunting. Bawaka homeland is also home to the dreamy Lonely Beach, East Arnhem Land’s most iconic location, allowing you to get that special shot to make your friends and family jealous!

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Day 7 – CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

Choose your own adventure for today! We have listed two fantastic ways to spend the day - get out on the water and catch yourself that once in a lifetime fish or have a hit at Australia’s top golf course!

OPTION 1 - FISHING CHARTER

For the fishing enthusiasts, East Arnhem’s crystal clear waters provide the perfect opportunity to spend a day out on the water exploring the unspoiled reefs, estuaries and remote islands on offer! World famous for the variety, quality and size of catch available, East Arnhem waters offer a bounty for keen anglers whether they are experienced or just a beginner trying their luck. Noteworthy species caught in the region include the elusive barramundi, mangrove jack, dhufish, red emperor, Spanish mackerel and, for those keen on a challenge, blue marlin and sailfish. There are a range of charter options that leave from Nhulunbuy.

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OPTION 2 - GOVE COUNTRY GOLF CLUB

For the golf enthusiasts visiting East Arnhem Land, you can’t go past having a hit at the Gove Country Golf Club, also known as Australia's Top Golf Course due to its location as the most northerly course in the country. This picturesque nine hole all grass course is located just four kilometres from Nhulunbuy town centre. There is a licensed bar and kitchen located on the second floor of the club house that offers up spectacular views of the close by beach and is the perfect spot to relax after a day on the greens.  

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Whatever option you choose for your last day, end your East Arnhem Land trip with a visit to Galuru (East Woody Beach) for sunset, grabbing take away fish ‘n’ chips along your way for dinner. This spectacular beach is located only four kilometres from Nhulunbuy town centre and is a favourite spot for locals to spend the afternoon. Stroll along the squeaky white sand over to Dhamitjinya (East Woody Island) and take in uninterrupted views along the coastline and out to the Arafura Sea, looking out for marine wildlife such as dolphins, turtles and even the odd manta ray! Just before the dark sets in, wander back to the beach, set up a bonfire and enjoy the last of the sunset. Soon enough, you'll be in a prime position to experience a night sky like no other, with abundant stars and constellations making for an unparalleled star gazing experience.

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BEFORE YOU GO

A Visitor Access Permit, and a Camping Permit if staying overnight, from Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation are required to visit most areas on this itinerary – these permits can be purchased easily prior to your arrival!

Love East Arnhem Land and plan to stay longer than seven days? Check out OUR WEBSITE for more inspiration on what to see and do.
Need help planning? Feel free to contact us!

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