Trip Planner

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

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Day 1 - Nhulunbuy and surrounds

Rise early and head to Gayŋaru Wetlands, also known as Town Lagoon, 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. There’s plenty of 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!

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. If you have some spare time, check out the memorial located at the Yirrkala Boat Ramp that is dedicated to the Yolŋu men and women who served in World War II.

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Head back into Nhulunbuy for lunch stopping along the way at the Roy Marika Lookout located at the summit of Nhulun. This lookout is a sacred site of great significance to Yolŋu and is the hill from which the Nhulunbuy township gets its name. Learn about the history of the region and the Yolŋu story of the spirit man Wuyul at the top of the lookout, from which you will enjoy panoramic views of Gayŋaru Wetlands, the Nhulunbuy township and the pristine surrounding coastline.

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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! Arrive by 6pm in the wet season (November to April) and 5.30pm in the dry season (May to October) to ensure you get there in time to see the sky light up. 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 - 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 and you will often spot dolphins joyfully playing in the water while you enjoy a delicious meal or relax in the infinity plunge pool!

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Banubanu Beach Retreat also has eco friendly beachfront accommodation available and it is recommended to stay 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.

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 3 – CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

Choose your own adventure for today! We have listed three fantastic ways to spend the day including getting out on the water, immersing yourself in culture, and having a hit at Australia’s top golf course!

OPTION 1 – FISHING CHARTER

For the fishing enthusiasts, East Arnhem Land’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 Land waters offer a bounty for keen anglers whether you are experienced or just a beginner trying your 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 available that leave from Nhulunbuy.

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OPTION 2 - 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 for 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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OPTION 3 - 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 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 beach close by 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 the 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 from Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation is 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 three days? Check out our GOVE PENINSULA SEVEN DAY ITINERARY for more inspiration on what to see and do.
Need help planning? Feel free to contact us!

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