Trip Planner

experience The perfect 24 hours in nhulunbuy





A Visitor Access Permit from Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation is required to visit most areas around Nhulunbuy – these permits can be purchased easily prior to your arrival!

If you don’t have your own vehicle, it is highly recommended you hire a car 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!

7am - APpreciate the tranquillity of Gayŋaru Wetlands

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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 signage, viewing platforms and a bird hide – if you are lucky you might even get to spot a crocodile from one of the viewing platforms!

8.30am - Relax in the REFINERY’s rustic charm

 The Refinery Cafe

Once you have worked up an appetite, it is time to head to The Refinery Café for that much needed coffee and breakfast! Located in the Captain Cook Shopping Centre, this quirky outdoor café is a great place to relax and read the morning paper while you indulge in your pick from the delicious menu.

10am - Be amazed AT Buku-Larrnggay Mulka

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After you have recharged for the day ahead, 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.

1pm - Float by the pool at the walkabout

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Once you are finally able to pull yourself away from the amazing artwork at Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Art Centre, head back into Nhulunbuy to Latitude 12, the Walkabout Lodge’s poolside restaurant. Have some lunch and cool off in the refreshing pool before the next part of your adventure. If you look hard enough, you might even catch the local lizard waiting patiently in the garden for a photo with you - don’t worry this one doesn’t bite!

2.30pm – marvel at the view from Nhulun

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A quick but impossible to miss stop on the itinerary is 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. From the top of the lookout you will enjoy panoramic views of Gayŋaru Wetlands, the Nhulunbuy township and the pristine surrounding coastline. At the top of the lookout, learn about the history of the region and the Yolŋu story of the spirit man Wuyul.

pm - Sink your feet into the sand at Galuru

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Next stop is the ‘must see’ Galuru (East Woody Beach), which is located only four kilometres from Nhulunbuy town centre and is a favourite spot for locals to spend the afternoon. Take a stroll along the squeaky white sand over to Dhamitjinya (East Woody Island). Climb to the top of East Woody Island and take in uninterrupted views along the coastline and out to the Arafura Sea. If you look closely over the ocean you might spot one of the many marine guests that frequent the region, including dolphins, turtles and even the odd manta ray!

5pm - See the sky light up at the ‘BOATY’

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End the day on a high with a visit to the locals’ favourite Gove Boat Club for afternoon drinks and dinner. 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.

24 hours is a start but doesn’t give you much time to explore the Gove Peninsula and broader East Arnhem Land. Check out our THREE and SEVEN day itineraries for inspiration on how to make your experience in East Arnhem Land more memorable!
Need help planning? Feel free to contact us!