Road to Nhulunbuy

Submitted: Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 11:41
ThreadID: 95019 Views:2203 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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Hi All, Each year my wife and I love adventuring around this big beautiful country of ours. We have a different destination each year and this year it is Nhulunbuy. I would like to hear from anyone who has traveled the Central Arnhem Road and has any info to pass on. We camp with a Black Wolf tent (we have had about 12 tents in the past 40 years) and it is easily the best we have had. I don't believe in it so I wont tow anything in the outback. What I mainly would like to hear is great spots for camping (preferably free) along the track and around Nhulunbuy itself. Also I will be going to Darwin after Nhulunbuy and was wondering if anyone had traveled West through Arnhem land to Maningrida / Oenpelli / Jabiru etc. I realize that if that can be done permits will be required.
Looking forward to some responses.
Rick P (Vic).
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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 14:00

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 14:00
Gooday Rick,
Central Arnhem Highway is currently closed at Goyder River, as are most of the roads to a lot of the communities. Barrapunta to Raminggining is normally closed to everyone except local traffic and not easy to get a permit. I would ring the Northern Land Council Office in Palmerston as your best bet for access. Ph. 08-89315500 or Katherine 08-89719899. Darwin will definitely give you a flat "NO". Katherine is also your best bet, other than the NT Gov web site, for road closures etc.
NT Roads Reports
regards
Fred B
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AnswerID: 483660

Reply By: Member - Ian W1 (QLD) - Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 15:04

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 15:04
Hi Rick, it's a few years since we've been up that way but when we finally got our permit (at Katherine - we applied about 6 weeks before travelling and when we got to Katherine, they denied all knowledge of our request until I showed them 3 or 4 emails from them) we were told that there was NO camping on the Central Arnhem Road. Would pay to check current travel conditions. There was no way we could get a permit to Maningrida either. The permit can be rescinded at the last minute if the Council finds out that there is a wedding/funeral/special occasion on the day you have approval to travel.....you may have to wait a couple of days before travelling is permitted. Good luck, it was worth the trip.
Safe Travelling
AnswerID: 483663

Follow Up By: Member - Rick P (VIC) - Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 15:12

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 15:12
Thank you so much Fred and 2Dogs. Knowing all these quirks before you travel makes you much better prepared.
Rick.
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FollowupID: 758930

Reply By: Bigfish - Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 22:16

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 22:16
Have lived in Nhulunbuy for 15 years. The road should be open in about a months time. Have had a few cars cross the Goyder but she is deep 1.3 meters and flowing. Not worth the risk. Had a fair heap of rain this week so roads wet and Goyder will be up. Hopefully this is the last hurrah from the wet season. You are supposed to have permit from the NLC. yOYou will be required to nominate which family or friend you are staying with. Or motel. Forget about camping along the highway. Not allowed.Once in Nhulunbuy you will need several permits to camp and buy a beer. Quite an expensive place to live.You will not get a permit to travel via Ramminginning or Oenpelli. They have stopped issuing them and the road is horrendous anyway. Mid June you can normally count on the grader having done most of the highway. Normal driving time is about 8-10 hours. Often do it quicker but I am often on it and know it well. YOU HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFULL ON EVERY CORNER. Every year we have lots of rollovers and a few deaths. The old toorak tractor brigade going too fast on a dirt road takes its toll. There are some nice places to camp in Nhulunbuy but as I said , you will require a permit. Best to stay at Mataranka the night before and head off baout 6.00 in the morning. That way you should lob into town about mid to late afternoon. Make sure you have at least 2 spare wheels/tyres.
You are better off arriving on a week day (early in week) just so permits can be arranged.
good luck.
AnswerID: 483704

Follow Up By: Member - Rick P (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 21, 2012 at 13:04

Saturday, Apr 21, 2012 at 13:04
Hey, how good to get some advice and tips from a local. Really great info.
Thank you very much Bigfish.
Rick.
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FollowupID: 759009

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