Nhulunbuy, NT

By Phoebe Baldwin 1 October 2015
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The gateway to East Arnhem Land, Nhulunbuy (also referred to as Gove), boasts fantastic fishing, sailing, bird watching and four-wheel driving.

GET A TASTE of Arnhem Land’s 91,000 square kilometres of unspoiled wilderness by jumping into all Nhulunbuy has to offer. Remote by any standards, the little town is home to about 4000 people and is an outdoor lover’s paradise. One of Australia’s last strongholds of traditional Aboriginal culture, you won’t be short of exquisite beaches and wilderness areas to visit. Please note that all visitors require a free tourist permit, which can be acquired through the Northern Land Council.


Hit the water: Fishing is a major drawcard for the region and the waters surrounding the Gove Peninsula offer some of the best sports fishing in the world and excellent sailing conditions. There are also a number of diving and snorkeling trips available that take you to the reefs offshore.

Walking: There is a selection of trekking, tramping, hiking and guided walks around Nhulunbuy. Try the scenic Gayngaru Wetlands Walk which surrounds an area of lagoon wetlands that is home to around 200 bird species. And don’t forget the Roy Marika Lookout on Mt Nhulun for the best view of the town.

Driving: Take a 4WD trip to scenic Cape Arnhem; the track will take you through the bush and onto the beach where you can also camp for the night. Four-wheel drives can be hired at the airport or in town, but bear in mind that a vehicle permit is required for most sites and some roads may become impassable during the wet season.


Location: 645km east of Darwin, the easiest way to get there is to catch one of the daily flights to Gove Airport, 13km from the town centre. If you want to tackle the drive along the Central Arnhem Road you will require a permit; bear in mind the road is not suitable for caravans or boat trailers.

Accommodation: Hotel, motel and lodge accommodation is available and it is possible to camp in certain places with a permit. Places to stay are limited so be sure to book in advance.
Food/drink: There are several restaurants, bakeries and cafes as well as two supermarkets in town.

Points of interest: Rainbow Cliffs, Gove Harbour and Horseshoe Bay.

Maps: Download a map of Arnhem Land from the Tourism Top End website.
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