Nhulunbuy is on the north-eastern tip of the Gove peninsula about 1000 kms east of Darwin. It is surrounded by white sandy beaches and the stunning blue waters of the Arafura Sea. Road travel to this area is possible with a 4WD, however most visitors choose to fly from Darwin or Cairns.
The area offers some of the best fishing in the Northern Territory and Aboriginal arts and crafts can be seen in the cultural centre in the township and at nearby Yirrkala.
Originally Nhulunbuy was a service town for the bauxite mining industry, but it is now an administrative centre for the area. In 1963, the people of Yirrkala made a major step for the land rights movement, when they protested against mining on their traditional land. While mining didn't stop, the protest did win them compensation. It also paved the way for greater self-management of traditional Aboriginal lands.
A permit is required for road travel in Arnhem Land and can take up to two weeks to finalise. Permits can be organised at the Northern Land Council offices in Darwin or Jabiru. Many visitors prefer to see Arnhem Land through an organised tour operation.
Image: Gove Peninsula - Australia's Outback Northern Territory
- Fishing - choose a dinghy or charter a boat for legendary fishing, birdwatching or crocodile spotting expeditions with indigenous guides
- Nambara Arts and Crafts Centre - Aboriginal owned carvings, paintings, weaving, necklaces and ceramics. Open Monday to Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm and Saturday 9am - noon.
- Buku-Larrngay Arts Museum - a museum of Aboriginal arts and artefacts. Open Monday to Friday 8am - 4.30pm, and Saturday 8am - noon.
- Dhamitjinya (East Woody Island) and Galaru (East Woody Beach) - for insight into Aboriginal lifestyle and culture - crabbing, fishing, flora and sightseeing.
Northern Land Council Address website
PO Box 42921
9 Rowling Street
Casuarina NT 0811
Phone: (08) 8920 5178
Fax: (08) 8945 2633