Nestled in the heart of the Australian Wilderness lies Arnhem Land, a place where ancient Aboriginal culture meets breathtaking landscapes full of native magic.
Wild, spiritual, and remote are words that can be used to describe the dramatic and rugged landscapes of one of Australia’s best-kept secrets, the beautiful Arnhem Land. From shallow billabongs to monsoonal wetlands, and from the Gulf of Carpentaria to tropical rainforests full of fascinating animals, this otherworldly place is just waiting to be explored on our tours and holidays in Arnhem Land. Follow your guide as you connect with the traditional owners of this land, the Yolgnu Peoples, and learn how to craft, paint, hunt, and weave just like they do. Share in their stories of this culturally significant country and enjoy the peacefulness that comes from being in the vast but awe-inspiring Aussie wilderness.
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Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
The best way to travel to Arnhem Land is by flying from either Cairns (CNS) or Darwin Airport (DRW) to Gove Airport (GOV). Each airport has daily flights into Arnhem Land with the flight time around 1 hour and 40 minutes and 1 hour and 10 minutes respectively. If you're travelling from a different part of Australia like Melbourne, Sydney, or Adelaide, you can connect in either Cairns or Darwin and then fly onto Gove Airport.
While the rest of Australia recognises 4 different seasons throughout the year, the Yolngu Peoples (the traditional owners of Arnhem Land) actually recognise 6 different seasons categorised by the weather, when flowers and other plants bloom, and when foods foraged from the land are most abundant. These seasons are from January to early March, March to April, May to August, September to early October, October to December, and then from late December to January. Each season experiences slightly different weather patterns but you can expect the months of December - February to be wet and full of thunderstorms and the months of June - August to be very warm with little to no rain.
The temperatures in Arnhem Land are always warm, even during the wet season, so packing a reusable water bottle and having it with you at all times is a good idea. You should also pack some comfortable and sturdy hiking/walking boots as there are several different landscapes throughout Arnhem Land including thick bushland, rainforests, coastlines, and wetlands. You should also pack sunscreen to protect you from the sun's UV rays, a first-aid kit, a few snacks to recharge on your adventures during the day, and plenty of weather-appropriate clothes.
There isn't one 'best time' to visit Arnhem Land with each month or season of the year providing something different to do and explore. If you're travelling during the wet season (December to February), expect the rivers, billabongs, creeks, and lakes to be flowing with water and various animals to be out and about but it will also be extremely humid and the chance of rainfall is high. If you're travelling during the dry season (June to August), you can expect high but temperate temperatures without humidity and little to no rainfall.
Travellers who come to Arnhem Land in search of fascinating and interesting animals to admire are in luck. Arnhem Land is home to a variety of animals from reptiles to mammals, and from marine life to birds, making it one of the best places in Australia to marvel at different species in their natural habitat. Below is a list of animals you can expect in Arnhem Land:
- Salt and freshwater crocodiles
- Hawksbill turtles
- Black wallaroos
- Brown falcons
The Yolngu Peoples, who have been living and working on this land for more than 60,000 years (and still do to this day), are the traditional owners of Arnhem Land. Several famous Indigenous artists have come from Arnhem land such as Glen Namundja who is famous for his bark paintings and for creating Australia's first yidaki (didgeridoo). In fact, the majority of people who live in Arnhem Land today are Indigenous Australians who still paint, carve, weave, and hunt in the same way their ancestors did before them.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.