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Arnhem Land, NT

Consider Arnhem Land to be a slice of spectacular beauty largely untouched by the modern world.  A historical region of the Northern Territory of Australia, Arnhem Land is comprised of wide, majestic expanses, scenic coastlines, and faraway islands.

The region, which has deep and ancient aboriginal ties, is around 500 kilometres from the territory’s capital, Darwin. Notable destinations in Arnhem Land include Groote Eylandt, Maningrida, and Cobourg Peninsula.

Arnhem Land

Explore Arnhem Land

Cape Arnhem is named after the ship of Dutch East India Company captain Willem Joosten van Colster (or Coolsteerdt) who sailed into the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1623. Arnhem Land covers about 97,000 km2, with an estimated population of only 16,000. The main contingent of the population, of around 12,000, are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Arnhem Land region has a bounty of rare wildlife, jaw-dropping scenery, and Aboriginal culture. As well, the warm Arafura Sea waters offer some of the most prime fishing in the entire world. Undisturbed beaches and rugged natural rockpools are a sight to behold, along with hikes through stone country and expansive floodplains full of flora.

The many unparalleled views of Arnhem Land are as awe-inspiring as they are beautiful. Residents and visitors alike are drawn to the region’s beaches, trails and culture.

The community of Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula is the largest centre in the region. Residents enjoy a relaxed lifestyle with fishing and camping among the favourite weekend activities for many. There are also various amenities on hand, including two large sporting ovals, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and a community library.

You may want to plan your trip to Arnhem Land outside of the wet season (November to April) when access can be limited to Central Arnhem Road. During such time, creeks and rivers are flowing rapidly and there’s a chance of flooding on some roads. The Central Arnhem Road is generally unsealed, and a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.

The latest information on driving the Central Arnhem Road can be found on the NT Road Report website. Also, the dry season offers less humidity and cooler weather in general.

However, it’s best to remember that no matter if you’re self-driving or on a tour, you are travelling on private land through sensitive cultural areas. Permits are easy to access but are required to transverse Central Arnhem Road, enter Aboriginal communities or visit recreation areas including beaches. Also, you’ll want to double and triple check for crocodiles before entering the water as they are plentiful in Arnhem Land.

The region can be accessed by road via Katherine or Darwin. Tours from Darwin also take place regularly between May and October. You can reach many Arnhem Land communities by daily flights with Air North.

There are a wealth of activities and sights to take in while spending time at Arnhem Land. One popular spot is Groote Eylandt, the largest isle in the Gulf of Carpentaria. There are numerous fishing tours and adventure activities offered at Groote, plus golfing can be found at the Groote Eylandt Lodge. The Warnindhilyagwa people, who are the traditional owners of the island, offer cultural tours with instruction on their traditions and way of life.

For world-renowned fishing and a truly serene setting, you’ll want to check out the Coburg Peninsula. Home to around 30 people, and with a size of about 2,000 square kilometres, the peninsula is civilization at its barest. You can also reach the ruins of the Victoria Settlement (an attempted 1800s British settlement) by 4WD.

On the north coast of Arnhem Land lies the tucked-away community of Maningrida. The town is a wonderful spot for fish, such as salmon, mangrove jack, golden snapper, barramundi, coral trout, Spanish mackerel, and trevally. Maningrida is also known for its Aboriginal culture and art. Local residents offer works for sale, including scriptures, bark paintings, prints and fibre crafts. You can also likely find a conical woven fish trap up for offers.

Only a 35-minute drive from Nhulunbuy, Macassan Beach is the site of the Yolngu people’s first interaction with Indonesian traders. An interpretative walk will take you to stone structures dating back more than a century, which were built to instruct future generations about the Macassan traders. Other walks are available to numerous beaches, including Turtle Beach.

The works of over 200 local artists have been gathered for display by Injalak, an Aboriginal-owned, non-profit organization which has been operating for almost 30 years. Injalak is located in Gunbalanya, a drive of around 2 hours north of Jabiru. An Aboriginal guide will take you up Injalak Hill, where you can learn about Aboriginal rock art and cultural traditions.

But no matter what your plans are for your time in Arnhem Land, you’ll find the majestic region has a range of sweeping vistas, untouched natural beauty, and cultural opportunities that should be seen in person to truly appreciate.

Where to stay?


  • Farm/Station
  • Rural/Country
  • Cultural
  • Eco Tourism
  • Nature based
  • Remote

Popular Activities

  • Off Road Driving
  • Bush Walking
  • Sightseeing
  • National Park
  • Wilderness
  • Wildlife
  • Outback

About Arnhem Land

Explore The Outback

Australia has a vast remote interior, much of it largely untouched. By night, the outback is deathly quiet, with the only light provided by the stars and the moon - a perfect oportunity for stargazing. Explore the isolated heart of the country, meet and connect with Aboriginal people and experience one of the oldest living cultures in the world. Go ‘walk-about’ and immerse yourself with Australia’s endless outback horizons.

Outback Experiences

Luxe Accommodation

Enjoy a distinctly Australian luxury experience, such as the unforgettable reefs, islands, beaches and coast; rugged mountain ranges, rainforests and vast national parks; and the many vibrant food and wine regions. Take a once in a lifetime adventure and discover the sheer indulgence of experiencing the wonders of Australia in style and stay in total luxury.

Australia has wide variety of accommodation options to suit most budgets and travelling preferences. Choose from luxury lodges, boutique hotels, serviced apartments, motels, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks as well as youth and backpacker hostels.


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