Gove nhulunbuy

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 09:48
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Hi guys we are thinking of going to nhulunbuy from Darwin towing a van what is the road like what is the place like what is the fishing like . Thanks. Allen
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Reply By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 13:31

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 13:31
You will need permits from the Northern Land Council.

The 1 x road is rough. I will look for some pics.

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Follow Up By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 13:37

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 13:37
Just a note - I don't think you are allowed to go to Nhulunbuy via Kakadu, you have to go down to Katherine and enter via that road just south. Things might have changed since I was last there.

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Follow Up By: Steve - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 13:46

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 13:46
and just to add to the bad news: the Aboriginal Council doesn't allow caravans into Nhulunbuy either
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Follow Up By: Zebra400 - Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 21:08

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 21:08
I have just returned from a 6 week trip to Arnhem Land. 4WD trailers are permitted to travel the Central Arnhem Road. However, caravans are not permitted. We traveled with an Ultimate trailer and had little issues. the road is corrugated in places and there are a few pot holes on the section between the Goyder River & about 100kms from Nhulunbuy.

Incidently, a bridge is being built over the Goyder River and is expected to be finished sometime this month.

We have about 80kms/hr for most of the 700km drive.

You need a permit to travel on the Central Arnhem Road, and this is easily obtainable from the Northern Lands Council.

To camp around Nhulunbuy, you need a permit which is obtainable from the Dhimurru Aboriginal Council
This permit allows you to camp at varoius locations around Nhulunbuy. There are a couple of places that require a separate permit - these are detailed on their website.
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Reply By: John and Regina M - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 13:43

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 13:43
No vans are allowed to travel that road. Even offroad ones.
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 16:24

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 16:24
Some years ago I was working in Nhulunbuy and was surprised by the attitude of some locals as to not wanting tourists to come there and spoil their lifestyle. I wonder if with the mothballing of the processing plant that there might just be a change of attitude to both the general townsfolk and the NLC. I think that they are missing out on a lot of potential wealth. Until then I have little sympathy for the whingers there who seem to think that it is the Governments responsibility to help them out. Tourism is something that they have to start developing and it would sure help in forcing a better quality of accommodation. If the Central Arnhem Road was a proper public road, caravans were allowed and a caravan park was developed I'd imagine that the road in would be very busy.
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Follow Up By: Zebra400 - Friday, Aug 15, 2014 at 10:20

Friday, Aug 15, 2014 at 10:20
Sorry John & Regina, your information is wrong. Off Road trailers are permitted. We have just returned from Arnhem Land. We specifically asked this question when applying for our permits. The only restriction is that caravans are not permitted.

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Follow Up By: Zebra400 - Friday, Aug 15, 2014 at 10:53

Friday, Aug 15, 2014 at 10:53
Taken straight from Dhimurru's website:
Please note that the Central Arnhem Road is NOT recommended for caravans (sturdy off-road camper trailers only). The Northern Land Council will NOT approve a permit to tow a caravan into East Arnhem Land and Dhimurru will NOT issue a Visitor Recreation Permit to anyone with a caravan.
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Reply By: Bigfish - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 17:35

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 17:35
Agree with Phild...Lived there for 15 years and the local black politics are content to take the govt money but wont allow tourism to take off. The NLC is mainly to blame for the stupid power games played between different communities. A van is a definate no-no. Fishing is great off shore and in some of the rivers for barra in the wet season. Accomodation is expensive. Ken Waugh runs a very good camp at Wigram Island and if you can afford it , it is a better idea to book a package thru Ken. Cant remember the name of his fishing business though.


Good luck. It is a great place but even the locals are sick of the way the land is locked up (except to a few in the know ).
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 18:44

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 18:44
I don't know what the current arrangements are but it was explained to us that the town itself was excised from Arnhem Land but that didn't include Town Beach alongside it so a permit was required to even walk on it. We didn't bother and weren't challenged any time. Great beaches for walking on but you had to be aware that there were crocs in the swamps surrounding the town so that at times you had the potential for crocs in water on both sides of you. A breaking wave was something you learnt to instantly look around for. Some nice distance walks South but there are 2 inlet crossings so you had to time the walk to return before it got too deep through them and be possible croc bait.
The only accommodation open to us was the so called "Gove Resort" in the town centre and it was very much misnamed. Expensive, not very luxurious and rooms quite damp and cold. Controls had long since stopped working in each room at the time. Entertainment was the Animal Bar in the front of the place, especially on Friday when they had Knicker Night. A female with just high heels and multiple pairs of knickers climbed on to the bar. Some Patrons were handed out tickets and winners had to try and remove one pair without using hands, just your teeth. Disqualified if you nibbled. All in all a high class establishment, not.
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Follow Up By: John and Regina M - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 19:00

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 19:00
Ah...The good old days.
Legendary stuff.
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 19:10

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 19:10
Actually, a word of warning to anyone who goes there about wandering around at night time. Buffaloes. During the Dry Season they can be found wandering about right in to the town centre after the lush green grass. Over the years there's been a number of occasions where people have come across them and definitely come off second best. With their dark non-reflective hide they are very difficult to see in the dark, although this also goes for them elsewhere, even in car headlights unless they are facing you and the eye's are lit up.
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 20:39

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 20:39
The buffalo don't come into town anymore. Those that did have been shot. Morons walking their dogs without leads were the main ones who had trouble. Woofy would race off and antagonise the buff, the buff would chase the dog who hightailed back to its master and the master would think that he was being charged by the buffalo!!. Happened quite a few times. I lived near the hospital and of an evening the buffalo would rub themselves on our chain mesh fence. The bedroom window was only 6 feet away and the noise would wake us. I loved it. Nature at its best. They used to eat on the hospitals lush lawns in the dry season and it was not uncommon to see them sauntering down the main road at sun up , heading back into the bush. I lived in Nhulunbuy for 15 years, visited every community on Arnhem Land and lived a "boys own adventure" type life. Had a bell jet-ranger for daily use and traveled a lot by 4wd and boat. The influx of workers during the building stage about 7 years ago ruined the town. The fly in ,fly out doesn't help either. Illegal trespassing, shooting animals and leaving them to rot on roadways, over fishing with dozens of eskies on plane flights out, pub brawling etc.etc. all contributed to locals not wanting the "out siders". Believe it or not it is a fragile landscape around the area. Many sacred sites, high erosion areas and aboriginal land have been vandalised and abused by different folks. The walkabout pub has changed. The animal bar has gone, along with the tarts. It is crying out for a large tourist park BUT getting the different stake holders to agree would be almost impossible. The permit needed for a highway into the town is a joke and a disgrace.
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