Map of East Arnhem Land Adventure including Australia

Wild, spiritual and remote – welcome to East Arnhem Land

In the farthest reaches of remote Northern Australia lies East Arnhem Land. This vast and rugged wilderness is where the Yolngu people have lived for millennia. Today you’ll still find clans fishing, sailing and enjoying the homeland of their ancestors. Discover this beautiful stretch of traditional land in the Bawaka Homeland, and learn how to hunt and gather, paint, weave, and hear stories of the area and history of the region, all under the guidance of Yolngu leaders. Then depart the mainland for nearby Dhambaliya (Bremer Island) and feel like castaways marooned on this spectacular oasis, devoid of human development and interference. Don’t pass up this unique opportunity to witness the close cultural connection between the land and The First Peoples of Australia, the oldest civilization on Earth.


Start
Gove, Australia
Finish
Gove, Australia
Destination
Australia
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
PLSA
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 6, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Join us for a privileged adventure to East Arnhem Land. Be welcomed to Country by the Yolngu people and learn about their traditional methods of living, from hunting and gathering, to painting and weaving.

  • Learn about gender roles and responsibilities, kinship and moiety, stories about the area and the history of the region.

  • Sit around the campfire with East Arnhem Land’s traditional owners and listen to the stories and songs of their people.

  • Travel to remote Dhambaliya (Bremer Island) and enjoy time to relax and soak up the remoteness of this beautiful oasis.

  • Visit the Yirrkala community and its world-famous art gallery featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork.

Is this trip right for you?

  • East Arnhem Land remains the same rugged wilderness that the Yolngu people’s ancestors walked, so some remote areas have only basic facilities and limited communication links to the outside world. For more about what this experience is like, see our blog post here: www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/expedition-east-arnhem-land

  • The Yolngu people’s culture and history are incredibly important to them, and they want to share it with the outside world. To be part of this is a privilege and requires sensitivity and patience towards guides and staff.

Itinerary

Welcome to your East Arnhem Land adventure. After you land at Gove airport, you’ll be met by your Yolngu guide and transferred to your accommodation in the town of Nhulunbuy. Take some time to relax before a Welcome Meeting at 6:30 pm this evening, where you’ll meet your fellow travellers and your Yolngu guide will provide an overview of the upcoming days. The rest of the evening is free – maybe get your new friends together for a first group dinner in the hotel, or in one of the restaurants here in Nhulunbuy.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be checking insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late, please let an Intrepid representative or your travel agent know.
After breakfast this morning head for the community of Yirrkala for a visit to its world-famous art gallery. The Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre presents artworks created by men and women of the many Aboriginal groups in the area, with paintings, sculptures, wood crafts, and cross-hatching techniques on display. You can also see bark petitions which symbolise the beginning of the Indigenous Lands Rights movement. There is also an opportunity to learn about how this establishment serves as a learning centre for the local children of the surrounding communities, and only if you wish, to purchase unique artwork from the gallery. Make the short drive to Lovely Beach – no need to guess why it’s called that – and enjoy lunch along the sand. Afterwards, head south to the eastern edge of East Arnhem Land and Bawaka Homeland, which looks out into the Gulf of Carpentaria. You’ll be greeted with a traditional smoking ceremony Welcome to Country and general orientation to the homeland. A family elder will lead a Yolngu cultural class, sharing and telling the story of the homeland. Over the next two days, enjoy cultural activities with the Bawaka traditional owners. These could include making spears and Yidaki (Didgeridoos) for men, collecting materials and dyes for basket making, or creating necklaces and other jewellery. There will also be an opportunity to witness the hunting and gathering methods that have fed the Yolngu for generations, and to try some of the food that has been caught or collected, like mud crabs or bush honey. You might also learn about bush medicine, the Yolngu kinship system and language, and how the Yolngu people lived on their traditional lands. At the end of each day, sit with the traditional owners around the fire and make the most of this unique opportunity to learn about their culture, to hear the songs, music and stories of the land.
Included Activities
  • Bawaka Homeland - Welcome to Country traditional smoking ceremony
  • Yirrkala - Lovely Beach
  • Yirrkala - Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre
  • Bawaka Homeland - Yolngu cultural class
  • Bawaka Homeland - Yolngu cultural activities
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Make the most of your last morning here in Bawaka with any cultural activities you haven’t had the chance to participate in yet. Then it’s time to say farewell to your Yolngu hosts and make your way back to Nhulunbuy. Check back into your accommodation and enjoy dinner together with the group. Then it’s time to meet up with your guides again and share stories of your stay at Bawaka.
Included Activities
  • Bawaka Homeland - Yolngu cultural activities
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast this morning head to the nearby jetty to jump in a speedboat for the trip across to Dhambaliya (Bremer Island) (approximately 1 hour). You’ll be staying in an eco-sensitive beach retreat built in partnership with the Yolgnu people at the northern tip of the island. This is glamping right next to world-class beaches in rooms that overlook the sand, with decks from which to watch the sun disappear behind the ocean and a pool overlooking the Arafura Sea. The day is free for a number of activities or simply relaxing. Perhaps set out on one of the many walking trails through the dunes and along untouched beaches, or you may even have the privilege of seeing turtles nesting if the time of year is right. Of the six species in the world, four of these lay their eggs right here. If this is sounding too active to you, then just sit back, relax, and experience the remote solitude and a chance to recharge.
Included Activities
  • Dhambaliya (Bremer Island) - Cultural activities
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy a final breakfast at this calm waterside retreat before catching a boat back to the mainland. Return to Nhulunbuy and on to Gove airport for your farewell to East Arnhem Land and your outbound flight.
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Departure Transfer
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you wish to stay longer on Bremer Island, please ensure you book additional nights well in advance.

Meals

5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Speedboat

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Bunkhouse (2 nights), Beach Bungalow (1 night)

Included activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Bawaka Homeland - Welcome to Country traditional smoking ceremony
  • Yirrkala - Lovely Beach
  • Yirrkala - Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre
  • Bawaka Homeland - Yolngu cultural class
  • Bawaka Homeland - Yolngu cultural activities
  • Dhambaliya (Bremer Island) - Cultural activities
  • Complimentary Airport Departure Transfer

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our East Arnhem Land Adventure trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, excluding nights 2 & 3 (Bawaka Homelands).
2. Luggage must be kept to a maximum of 15kgs per person in a backpack or soft overnight bag with a small additional day pack.
3. It is prohibited to take alcohol on this trip as much of East Arnhem Land is alcohol-free.

Essential trip information

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