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Considered one of Australia’s last unspoilt areas, Arnhem Land is just waiting to be discovered. The Central Arnhem Road starts 50km south of Katherine and finishes in Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula and will take you on an adventure through open savannah woodlands as you pass creeks and spot a variety of wildlife. Please note that when travelling to Arnhem Land you will require a permit from the Northern Land Council. These permits are necessary to preserve the beauty of Arnhem Land and travel in your hire car is restricted to sealed roads.
Begin your journey in Katherine, where the outback meets the tropics. Make sure to visit Nitmiluk Gorge, where you can take a refreshing dip in waterfalls or kayak through the gorge, before you start your journey to Nhulunbuy (Gove). Consider breaking up your journey with stop offs at either the friendly community of Barunga (home of the Barunga Festival) or Beswick where you can browse local arts and crafts at Ghunmarn Culture Centre. Both also offer a great stop for light refreshment and to refuel. After a four hour drive, you will reach the Mainoru Store where you can stop and rest overnight.
Continue along the Central Arnhem Road on your way to Nhulunbuy (Gove) and stop off at Yirrkala to visit the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre (15-minute drive off the Central Arnhem Road). This art centre is worth the detour; here you can view authentic pieces of art and craft created by local indigenous artists. When you arrive into Nhulunbuy reward yourself with a sunset drink at the Gove Boat Club and take in a famous Top End sunset, you can't beat natural scenery like this!
With Nhulunbuy as your base camp, set out and uncover iconic landscapes at one of the Dhimurru Recreation Areas. Choose from a wide range of settings from sandy white beaches and rugged coastlines to open forests and shaded inland waterways, all located just 1-2 hours from Nhulunbuy. While you're at it, why not pack a picnic and head out for the perfect day trip exploring Arnhem Land?!
After you've taken in the sites at the Dhimurru Recreation Areas, make your way to Bremer Island via a leisurely 1 hour boat ride, or a 10 minute charter flight. Arrive at Banu Banu Eco Wilderness Resort on Bremer Island, which is known as paradise in the Northern Territory. Take this opportunity to relax, recharge the batteries and live the island lifestyle for a few days. Take part in guided walks, spearfishing, turtle watching or just chill out on the pristine white beaches.
With so much to see and do why not stay for an extra day and have a bluewater fishing experience with one of the charters available. If fishing isn’t your thing then charter a scenic flight to witness this amazing part of the world from the sky.
Once you've had your island fix, head back to Katherine via the Central Arnhem Road, enjoying spectacular natural landscapes as your drive. Stop in at Giddy River along the way, which is a beautiful spot to have a picnic near the mini gorges and rock pools. Once you arrive back to Katherine why not take a dip in the Katherine Hot Springs, located only 5 minutes from town, the perfect ending to a long road trip.
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