An Adventure Weekend
Airnorth operates daily flights Sunday to Friday to Gove from Cairns (1 hour 40 minutes) and Darwin (1 hour 10 minutes), which connect with flights from other capital cities. AirNorth also operates a range of regular air services from Darwin to major East Arnhem communities including Milingimbi, Galiwinku and Groote Eylandt.
The Central Arnhem Rd turn off is situated 50km south of Katherine on the Stuart Highway. The distance is 710 km between Katherine & Nhulunbuy through Central Arnhem Land. There is only one fuel stop 240 km from Katherine at Mainoru Outback Store (500 km South of Gove/Nhulunbuy). To travel the Central Arnhem Road (4WD only) requires crossing many clan lands and a permit from the Northern Land Council (NLC) is required. There is no cost for this permit but it is necessary to monitor the numbers of people on the road to maintain this region.
Day 1 (Thursday) Flying high
Welcome to East Arnhem Land! Choose from the Walkabout Lodge, the Walkabout Camping Grounds to spend your weekend or opt for an island getaway at Banubanu Retreat on Bremer Island (1 hour boat ride from Nhulunbuy).
If the Walkabout Lodge/Camping grounds are your thing, get set up and head on down to relax with a cocktail by the in-house pool. The Walkabout Lodge and camping grounds are conveniently located near the town centre precinct (a short 200m walk), where you can obtain all your shopping, banking and postal requirements.
Feel like seeing all that East Arnhem Land has to offer? Hop on a scenic flight with one of our charters and watch our beautiful land and wildlife from above.
For dinner, we recommend going down to Maccassans at the Arnhem Club for a delicious and extensive menu. If you don’t have kids, stick around for a game of pool and maybe a boogie into the night.
Day 2 (Friday) On the road again
Escape the town centre and go on a scenic drive. First pop into Rainbow Cliffs and marvel at towering rock formations beautifully contrasted against the aqua blue waters beneath. Sit down for a spot of breakfast or wander along the beach in the sun. Head on down the highway and take the turn off to Yirrkala and pop into the Buku-Larrngay Art Center. Here you can observe Yolngu history as well as modern works, jewellery and screen-printing. For lunch, take a picnic down to Shady Beach, a short 5 minutes drive from Yirrkala.
In the afternoon it’s hot enough for a fresh water swim so we recommend heading down to Latram or Goanna River. Pull out your camping chair and sit in the water with a cool beverage and enjoy listing to the beautiful sounds of the surrounding wilderness.
Day 3 (Saturday) Island living
If lounging in the sun, swimming in crystal blue water, tossing a line out and having a delicious feed is what you feel like today…we have just the treat for you. Banubanu Wilderness Retreat is just a 50-minute boat ride from the Nhulunbuy Township. Call ahead and book yourself a spot on the morning trip out to the island. Owners, Helen and Trevor will be eagerly awaiting your arrival. Take off your shoes and bask in the beautiful island surroundings, whether its fishing, swimming, snorkelling or kayaking- Banubanu offers it all. At lunchtime Trevor and Helen will serve a delicious home cooked meal to serve at their communal dining table and then you are free to do as you please until the afternoon boat ride back home. It’s hard to believe such a beautiful place can exist! Remember, Helen and Trevor take overnight bookings if you can’t bare to leave!
Day 4 (Sunday) Boat Life
Nothing starts off a Sunday morning better than a delicious hot breakfast. Head on down to 3c’s Café on Arnhem Road and relax under the shade with an all day breakfast, coffee or juice and Sunday’s paper. Feel like a Sunday session on the water? Gove Sports Fishing Charter offer amazing ½ and full day charters for visitors. Owner, Ken Waugh knows everything there is to know about the best fish and where to find them. Make sure you call ahead to guarantee yourself a spot on the boat!
After a long day on the water, nothing will agree with you more than a nice cool drink as the sunsets over the harbour. The Gove Boat Club is the perfect place to watch the day settle into night whilst devouring something delicious food from The Waterfront Kitchen’s meal selection.