Arnhem Land Advice Please

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 10:13
ThreadID: 102594 Views:1907 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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We are keen to visit Arnhem land later this year, but I am not really clear on what areas can be accessed by travellers.
I would really appreciate advice on areas that can be accessed, I don't particularly want to just drive in to Nhulunbuy & back out the way we went in!
What I would like is some idea of a round trip that will give a good overview of Arnhem Land.
We have done fairly extensive Outback & desert travel & will travelling in a well set up Prado 120 towing a Vista RV Crossover.
I have spoken with the NLC & realise that permits will be required, according to them they take about 10 working days & should not be applied for prior to 25 days from the date of intended travel. I find the hard part of the application to comply with is date in & date out, as we are travelling from Victoria & know that Outback travel is far from an exact science, how exact are you expected to be?

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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 10:56

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 10:56
Unfortunately you do have to travel to and from Gove/Nhulunbuy by the same route. There are also restrictions on how long the trip can take and where you can camp.
Last I heard you are also unable to tow caravans or large trailers on the route either. There is/was also a gross weight limit to prevent any trucks travelling too.
They used to make you spend the first night at Gove in accomodation too, not sure whether that still applies.
NO permits are granted for travel east west across Arnhem land unless you know some one at the communities enroute and can organise to visit them.
AnswerID: 512553

Reply By: Great Divide Tours - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 11:40

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2013 at 11:40
Hi Shaker

You are very unlikely to get permission to travel any different route to Gove other than the Central Arnhem road, applications are made to the Northern Land Council and I appreciate the problem with actually tying down exact dates. I would ring the NLC in say Katherine and ask them if it is possible to drop in the day before your visit and make application on the spot, no harm in asking. Once you get to Nhulunbuy (Gove) you also need permits from the Dhimurru aboriginal corporation to access many of the beach areas, there is a samll cost for each of course. General permits allow acccess to local beaches and special permits cover some of the more special places and they are indeed special. Accommodation in Nhulunbuy is available at the Walkabout lodge, both camping and motel rooms. Or you can camp at some of the beach locations, details through the Dhimurru website
There is no problem taking an off road trailer on the Central Arnhem road, we take them in my tour groups all the time and the road carries a lot of road trains etc too. It does take two days to travel from the Stuart Hwy to Nhulunbuy but there are numerous camping spots along the road, your permit clearly states you can camp in old quarries along the road and there are quite a few of them, although not the prettiest place to camp. To access any of the Yolnu communities on the side tracks requires a bit more work and more permits, best to inquire from Lirrwi Tourism in Nhulunbuy or see their website.
It took me nearly three years to work through all the permits and licences required to run trips into Arnhem Land but the hard work has certainly been worth it with regular customers telling me it is the best trip they have ever done. Make the effort and you will be rewarded, it is a very special part of Australia.
AnswerID: 512555

Reply By: Member - lyndon NT - Thursday, Jun 06, 2013 at 08:02

Thursday, Jun 06, 2013 at 08:02
Agree with the others, you wont get a permit for any other route. How much time do you have? Plenty to see and do around the Gove area (you might not be quite aware just how much). No problems taking your rig in with you, just realize that almost all the spots worth visiting you wont be able to use it. Why, I hear you ask. You just wont get it through the tracks. Most were to tight for our Tvan = hairpin turns = a three point turn in your car (well for me in the troopy anyway)
Take a large mesh tent to camp in and leave the rig in the township.

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AnswerID: 512611

Follow Up By: ctaplin - Thursday, Jun 06, 2013 at 12:27

Thursday, Jun 06, 2013 at 12:27
I agree with Lyndon that the tracks to all the good spots around Gove Peninsula are too tight for towing. Also trailers aren't allowed to Cape Arnhem and you can get yourself into a heap of trouble even in a single vehicle if you're not careful...
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Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Thursday, Jun 06, 2013 at 17:56

Thursday, Jun 06, 2013 at 17:56
Now that was a bit predictable Chris...................
Lost ur email, mines in my profile, email me sometime.

Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still

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