What's the best way to get to Arnhem Land?

There are a few ways you can travel to Arnhem Land with the best option being to fly. That doesn't mean you can't get to Arnhem Land any other way. You can also drive to Arnhem Land, but this option is only suitable if you're coming from somewhere in the Northern Territory as the journey to Arnhem Land from locations in different states will take several hours. 

It's also important to note that you can't travel to certain areas in Arnhem Land unless you have a permit. If you want to adventure through all this magical and fascinating region has to offer, make sure you have permission from the Northern Land Council or the Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation (if you're visiting certain recreational areas) or you travel with a tour that has a permit (i.e Intrepid Travel).

Flying into Arnhem Land

Flying into Arnhem Land is the best and easiest way to travel to this region with flights from either Cairns (CNS) or Darwin (DRW) Airports offering daily flights to Gove Aiport (GOV) in Arnhem Land via Airnorth. The flight time from Cairns takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes with the flight time from Darwin taking less time (1 hour and 10 minutes). If you're traveling from a different part of Australia such as Sydney, Melbourne, or Adelaide, you can catch flights to either Cairns or Darwin Airports and then a connecting flight into Gove Airport. 

The cost of flights from either Cairns or Darwin Airports to Gove Airport depends on the time of year you're traveling in (whether it's peak season) and how far in advance you're booking your flights, however, the cost of a ticket starts at around USD$200. 

There is also a small number of companies that offer private charter flights to various locations within Arnhem Land, operating from Gove Airport. These companies include Air Arnhem, Black Diamond Aviation, Fly Tiwi, and Air Frontier. While the cost for flights into Arnhem Land via charter planes can vary, they usually begin at around USD$360 and go up from there. 

Driving to Arnhem Land

While you can drive to Arnhem Land, it's not always the best or most convenient option as the region is located further away from the border of other states and you need a 4WD (four-wheel drive) to navigate the roads. 

If you decide you do want to drive to Arnhem Land, the Stuart Highway (running from Darwin to South Australia) will get you a part of the way before you need to turn off on Central Arnhem Road (a relatively short 50km from Katherine). You'll drive a further 419mi (that's one hell of a road trip) to reach Nhulunbuy, traveling through Arnhem Land as you go. 

Before embarking on your journey to Arnhem Land by car, it is recommended you look out for any changing road conditions or serious weather patterns that could disrupt your drive. As the road into Arnhem Land is unsealed, it is subject to changes and there are parts of the road that require a river crossing and other features that can impact visibility. Always take care and be cautious when driving in tough conditions and look out for animals who may be lurking on the roads during the day or night.

Still want to learn about Arnhem Land? Return to Arnhem Land FAQs

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