30x44 Cape Cliffs 2

Natural environment

East Arnhem Land is one of the last wilderness areas on earth. It is scenic with wild coastlines, deserted islands, azure waters and green vegetation. There are many beaches, rivers forests and cliffs in short driving distance from Nhulunbuy.



A Town in Transition



Commonwealth and Northern Territory law state that entry to Aboriginal land requires a written permit.  If you do not have a permit, you may be fined.

The Northern Land Council (NLC) is responsible for administering the permit system for traditional owners in the Top End. It issues both recreational/transit and work permits.

Permits are needed for the following purposes:

  • Enter Aboriginal Land for any purpose
  • Travel by road through Aboriginal Land (Note: this does not apply to public roads)
  • Enter or visit an Aboriginal Community (Note: some exceptions apply)

Permits are not difficult to access.

  • Apply online for Northern Land Council permits if you are travelling by road into East Arnhem Land.
  • Apply online via the Dhimurru website or at the Dhimurru office during business hours prior to entry into any Recreation Areas within Dhimurru’s IPA.


Fishing and camping

Fishing is a major drawcard for the region. East Arnhem offers some of the best sports fishing in the world. Fish are abundant and catches include red emperor, Spanish mackerel and coral trout. A range of fishing charters are available from half day to extended island safaris, or boat hire can be arranged for a self-guided trip. Camping and four wheel driving are also popular activities in the dry season.

Dhimurru’s Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) was established in 2002 and the organisation manages 550,000ha of land and sea surrounding the Gove Peninsula.  Dhimurru manages this country of behalf of the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the region who have made available a number of General and Special Recreation Areas for the use of non-indigenous residents and visitors.  Among many other projects, Dhimurru maintains campsites, installs infrastructure, manages a program of weeds and feral animal control and conducts compliance patrols within the IPA.


Sport and recreation

Sport is a big part of the lives of people in Nhulunbuy and the wider region. There is a diverse range of regional and town-based competitions and recreational activities and facilities including rugby and Australian football ovals, golf course, boat club, Olympic sized swimming pool, skate parks, fishing club, surf lifesaving club, tennis courts, squash courts, bowling greens and speedway. The township also boasts a considerable number of attractive and well-equipped parks and playgrounds for families and children.

The Nhulunbuy Corporation Limited (NCL) webpage is a great source for local information.  Find out what is on by viewing the events calendar.

The East Arnhem Regional Council (EARC) also lists further information about the facilities and services throughout the region.