Exploring Arnhem Land

Submitted: Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 00:22
ThreadID: 134695 Views:564 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
This is related to my other thread.

How long do you think it'll take to explore the Arnhem land area?
If I had to pick an end should I go East or West?

This is what I know.
- I need a permit
- I have to book camping in advance
- I have to take the central Arnhem road (i think)

What I'm not clear about
- If I'm going to East, can I get across from Kakadu through Cahills crossing?
- If I'm exploring East & West (or the other way) how do I get from one end to the other? Do I have to backtrack to central Arnhem road?

I've got few more days I can add to this before heading off to Broome

Current plan
16-June-2018 Katherine
17-June-2018 Arnhem land - Nhulunbuy
18-June-2018 Arnhem land - Nhulunbuy
19-June-2018 Arnhem land - Nhulunbuy
20-June-2018 Arnhem land - Nhulunbuy
21-June-2018 Katherine
22-June-2018 Kakadu
23-June-2018 Kakadu
24-June-2018 Kakadu
25-June-2018 Darwin
26-June-2018 Darwin
27-June-2018 Litchfield National Park
28-June-2018 Litchfield National Park
29-June-2018 Timber Creek
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 07:39

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 07:39
Hi Rangana

First of all can I suggest that you do a lot more research.

If you are going to Nhulunbuy, there is only one way that you will get a permit, and then you will have to be an their back all the time to get it, as it has taken me over two and a half months to get my permit in writing, when they claim the permits are issued straight away.

They allow two days in to do the drive, and then when you get to Nhulumbuy, you have to get your other permit to explore the area.

So based on your timetable and not wanting to rush the drive in and out, you will only have 2 days there and you will see very little in just 2 days.

There are other members here on the forum that have been there and can offer great advise, and one thing I know, 2 days to see the area will be a joke. From what I have been told 2 weeks is more like it and that is what I have planned.

Happy Research.


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Follow Up By: Member - Rangana H - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 09:44

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 09:44
Hi Stephen

When I was first looking around, according to https://permits.dhimurru.com.au/dacp/GeneralPermit.aspx?text=new&permit=30133 i can get a 2 months general permit and that seems to cover the area.

As much as I want to I dont think we can spare weeks :( so will have to work with the time frame we have.


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 14:41

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 14:41
Hi Again Rangana

The Permits from the Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation only cover the Nhulunbuy area as you would be aware and the only access road in ( 800 plus kilometres ) on the Arnhem Highway is via permit from the Northern Land Council. The Dhimurru permits range in time from one day, through to 12 months, to cover all those that visit the area.

What you will not find anywhere, which is a real pitty, is that a number of Aboriginal Communities along the way have opened up there Home Lands to Tourists and welcome everyone. One community that I managed to get hold of said that if no one was in the community, then go to their camping area some distance away and you set up camp right on the beach, and come back before you leave and pay your fees.

From all accounts there is a lot to see in that region and the more time you have, the better.


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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 09:53

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 09:53
To hard basket ?
Do a Bordeux river cruise in France instead.
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Reply By: Zippo - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 18:26

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 18:26
Q: Can I get across from Kakadu through Cahills crossing?

A: Depends. Check out some youtube videos of "Cahill'sCrossing" and decide from that whether you think you can.

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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 19:42

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 19:42
If you go to east arnhem land you will not be able to go west via Ramminginning and Maningrida. You will have to backtrack down the Central Arnhem Hwy. , go to Katherine and head to Kakadu.. Pretty sure permits still neede to cross Cahills Crossing to enter Arnhem Land here. Normally an 8-9HR drive from Sturt Hwy to Nhulunbuy. If you have to stop overnight, due to car trouble, you are only allowed to to camp on the main road. Permit does not allow you to visit communities UNLESS EXPRESSLY WRITTEN ON PERMIT. No veering off the main road in. Unless you have a permit to visit a community you would be asking for trouble to just head out there. I spent 15 years working in the area and visiting every community often. The internal politics is mind numbing. Unless its written in black and white on a piece of paper..its worthless!! TROUBLE IS DIFFERENT ELDERS AND LAND OWNERS WILL GIVE CONFLICTING INFORMATION AND MUCH OF IT IS WRONG!! Get your permit to drive to Nhulunbuy from the Northern Land Council and once in Nhulunbuy Dhimmaru should be able to assist you with contacting the correct people for permits to visit different communities. The Dhimmaru permit only allows camping in several areas and does not allow community visits. The NLC in Nhulunbuy can also help get permits to visit communities that allow paid camping. Baniyala is one area that has a campsite . As I said I worked in West and East Arnhem Land with an open permit to go where ever. It really is a controlled environment. Dont forget that no alcohol can be taken into an Aboriginal area. When travelling from the Hwy to Nhulunbuy you can take alcohol..HOWEVER NO CAN, CASK OR BOTTLE IS ALLOWED TO BE OPENED...4 Days with 2 days driving makes it a waste of time..especially if the road is corrugated(which it often is). Vehicle breakdown would be hellishly expensive for recovery and repairs. What takes a week down South takes 3 weeks to a month in these areas. I,d do the Kakadu area and relax a bit more. 7-10 days minimum to see Nhulunbuy..
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 22:46

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 22:46
Cahill's Crossing can be closed for many reasons, particularly high water levels. It was closed for much of last year, following a number incidents with vehicles being stranded or washed off the causeway.

Yes, you do need a permit to go across.

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Follow Up By: Zippo - Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 11:46

Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 at 11:46
We have seen a party drive across, turn around and return. All video captured by a member of their crew at the observation point. Seriously doubt they had a permit.

But yes, to be on the eastern side you are required to have a permit.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 23:43

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 23:43
If you are cashed up, there are now ground tours through the backblocks of Arnhem Land.
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