The Gove Peninsula (12°17′S 136°49′E) is at the northeastern corner of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Arnhem Land is a vast tract of nearly 100,000 sq km of Aboriginal owned land is one of Australia's last strongholds of traditional Aboriginal culture. The Yolngu people have inalienable freehold title over this land, currently with the exception of the mining lease that the town of Nhulunbuy is located on. The Aboriginal Land Trust holds this title. Permission to enter Arnhem Land MUST be obtained from the Northern Land Council.
The Central Arnhem Road leaves the Stuart Highway 52 km south of Katherine. The first 30 km is sealed but from then on the road is corrugated, slippery with loose gravel and in some places heavy with bull dust. There are also many river crossings.
It is advisable to check road conditions with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure before travelling by road. If travelling by road please ensure that you have adequate fuel for the journey. There may be fuel at Bulman and Mainoru Station but up to date information should be obtained from the Mainoru Store.
Please note all Arnhem Land is Aboriginal land and visitors require permits from the Northern Land Council to travel to Nhulunbuy (Gove) and the Gove Peninsula via the Central Arnhem Road. This permit is also required to enter onto land outside of the Rio Tinto Nhulunbuy town lease. There is no cost for this permit but it is necessary to preserve the area and monitor the numbers of people on the accessing the land. Allow up to two to four weeks for the permit to be processed by mail. Penalties apply for moving throughout the region without a permit and visitors are asked to respect the wishes of the Traditional Owners in this regard.
Please note that the Central Arnhem Road is NOT recommended for caravans (sturdy off-road camper trailers only). The Northern Land Council will NOT approve a permit to tow a caravan into East Arnhem Land and Dhimurru will NOT issue a Visitor Recreation Permit to anyone with a caravan.
Nhulunbuy (Gove) can be reached by air from Cairns (1hr 40mins) or Darwin (1hr 10mins) with AirNorth.
Dhimurru offers short term accommodation at our facility located on Arnhem Road. The facility has three bedrooms and a shared kitchen and bathroom. Please see our Short Stay Accommodation page for more information.
The tropical dry season (May-October) is our 'winter' and temperatures hover around 28 degrees Celsius with superb tropical nights warm enough to dine out under the stars.
Rainfall is usually high during the tropical summer season (November-April) and daytime temperatures are around 30-33 degrees Celsius with sea breezes. We enjoy temperatures up to 5 degrees cooler than Darwin or Cairns. Remember that during the wet season some roads and tracks may become impassable; contact the Department of Planning and Infastructure for a Road Report on the East Arnhem Highway.
The town has a camper trailer park located in the grounds of the Walkabout Lodge with 12 powered sites and amenities. Bush camping is available in the Recreation Areas managed by Dhimurru.
If you are travelling to the Gove Peninsula some important local alcohol rules apply. The East Arnhem region is a ‘dry area’, including the town of Nhulunbuy and the surrounding communities of Gunyangara (Ski Beach) and Yirrkala. With the exception of some Recreation Areas, drinking in public places is prohibited. The region has a liquor permit system. You can drink in a licensed premise, for example a hotel, club or restaurant, but you need to obtain a liquor permit to buy alcohol and drink in a private home or at a Recreation Area.
For more information on the Gove Peninsula and/or travelling in North East Arnhem Land please see our Contact page
Warning: This website may contain references to Yolngu people who have passed away. Every effort has been made to ensure that images portraying recently deceased Yolngu people have been removed.