Airnorth has daily flights (except for Saturdays) 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.
Following an investment of over $8 million in 2005, Gove Airport offers city-standard facilities to the estimated 100,000 passengers who currently travel to and from Nhulunbuy each year.
The runway is one of only a handful in the Northern Territory capable of safely landing larger jet aircraft such as the Boeing 737-400 series.
In line with larger city airports, Gove Airport provides dedicated security-restricted areas for commercial aircraft and a separate dedicated area for smaller general aviation craft. A number of charter companies provide air services to East Arnhem communities and homelands.
The region has a natural coastal harbour at Melville Bay, with one of the best-equipped deep water ports on the northern coast of Australia. The industrial and bulk goods handling facilities are a unique industrial asset in the heart of remote Northern Australia.
In addition to Rio Tinto’s bulk terminal, wharf facilities include the general cargo terminal (9m deep), the public wharf (4.27m deep), and various boat ramps. In 2014-15, the Northern Territory Government has funded the development of a new large vessel floating pontoon that will provide additional capacity on the waterfront.
The general cargo wharf is 94m long by 28m wide and is connected to shore by a 287m access bridge that is 5.5m wide. The facilities have been designated for vessels up to 25,000 deadweight tonnes with a maximum length overall of 165m. Proponents of strategic projects, for example in the fisheries, tourism or transport sectors, can access the general cargo terminal at competitive rates.
Toll Marine Logistics manages the public wharf for the Northern Territory Government. Located at the head of Gove Harbour to the north of Harbour Islet, the wharf is approximately 70m long with a depth alongside of 4m at lowest astronomical tide.
Toll Shipping also manages a roll on, roll off landing berth to the west of the public wharf, although access is restricted.
Sea Swift also operate sea freight across East Arnhem Land and have an office in Nhulunbuy.
Road transport networks
The two main roads in region are the Central Arnhem Road (Nhulunbuy to the Stuart Highway) and the Arnhem Link Road (Ramingining through to Gunbalanya and Kakadu National Park).
The Central Arnhem Road spans 645kms between Nhulunbuy and the Stuart Highway, 60kms of which is sealed. A permit from the Northern Land Council is required to use the Central Arnhem Road.
Improvements continue to be made to the Arnhem road network, including new high level bridges on the Wilton, Mainoru and Donydji rivers. The Goyder River Bridge will be completed in late 2014 and will expand reliable road access to 11 months in the year. Seven new truck passing lanes will be installed in 2014-15, and work will also commence on construction of a further bridge over Rocky Bottom Creek.
The Northern Territory Government’s Department of Transport is working in consultation with regional leaders and Traditional Owners to scope an $11 million upgrade to the Arnhem Link Road.
Internal and access roads for the region’s major remote communities are managed and maintained by the East Arnhem Regional Council.