Are we dreaming ? - Arnhem Land

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 11, 2021 at 16:07
ThreadID: 141382 Views:22225 Replies:3 FollowUps:0
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The only place we have been to in Arnhem Land is Ngukurr, a place we made very welcome & somewhere we would like to return to.

This year we will be on Cape York most , if not all year if things pan out as we hope, but next year might be the year for our Arnhem Land dreams to come true.

To be clear from the outset we want to do the right thing as far as access goes, to be respectful about permits but we also are a little hopeful that perhaps with having sought permits, & with no time limits , that this may allow us the time to meet folk & perhaps seek further permissions at local levels?

What we would love to do is drive back across the Gulf & head north from Ngukurr via Numbulwar to the Central Arnhem Highway & on to Nhulunbuy & then either across the north coast via Ramingining to Kakadu (unlikely?) or to Katherine back along the Central Arnhem Highway. We'd be happy to spend an entire dry season doing so if we could.

Are we dreaming .. with not a snowballs chance in hell, or is there a chance we could make our own luck to make it happen?

I seek the thoughts of those with on the ground experience, in Arnhem Land, more to try to determine realistic possibilities once we have done our best to negotiate our way through the permit systems.

I have read both the thread and Stephen L's Arnhem Land blogs, both of which I have found interesting & helpful.
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 07:17

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 07:17
Your dreaming mate. You will not get a permit to drive through Raminginning. The Numbalwa track was spoken about POSSIBLY being opened up as a tourist track but its condition, depending on the wet, means that a lot of work is required. "Seek permissions at local levels" mean ask the locals if you can travel to a certain area. This is not a smart thing to do as it often means you will be travelling on areas not owned by the particular owner. The Northern Land Council also frowns on this "local permission" practice. On the Central Arnhem Hwy you are only allowed to camp for one night and even then , only if it is necessary. The only way to spend an entire dry season would be based in Gove and then do day trips or use the permit system for some of the areas around Gove. I,ve travelled every bush track and been to every community in East Arnhem Land and the politics between communities can be a real issue. Whatever you want to do or the Northern Land Council...they control the region and will have the final say.
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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 07:35

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 07:35
Thanks Bigfish, whilst your answer is obviously not what I hoped to hear, it is nonetheless not a surprise. We will certainly go into Arnhem Land to experience what is permissible, but it appears it will be a somewhat shorter trip than we had hoped for. When it was suggested to us by an old fella in Ngukurr that we could drive up to Numbulwar it had got our hopes up a bit.
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Reply By: NichBails - Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 20:10

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 20:10
We've been to both Coburg and Nhulunbuy and had the wonderful experience of visiting Nhulunbuy during the GARMA Festival - really worthwhile (amazing) if you a re planning a trip.
We didn't have any luck with travelling to other areas - we were limited to our permits and not allowed to go anywhere else. But we were new to this area and I think if we went again we would try to "join" in with the locals, ask around a lot more and try to go on local guided tours.
We found that the tour operators have it pretty well wrapped up but I think if we were more outgoing then we could have organised some local guides.
We loved the area but very limited in where we could go. We are currently researching to have another trip there this year if we can get permits. We would love to drive from Nhulunbuy to Coburg via the coast but at the moment only ATP Tours have access at $12k a seat. The ATP tour looks amazing but I will need to wait for a lottery win.

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