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. Due to the remoteness of the location, accommodation is no-frills , with multi-share rooms and basic amenities and facilities. There’s little connection to the outside world, but this means you can really connect with the 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, staff and your Yolngu staff.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Itinerary

Welcome to your East Arnhem Land adventure. After you land at Gove airport, you’ll be met by your 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 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
Your complimentary arrival transfer is only available for the participants who will arrive into Gove on Day 1 of the trip.

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be checking COVID test results, 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. Afterwards enjoy a packed lunch, then 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 weaving, or creating necklaces and other jewellery from locally gathered shells and seeds. 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
  • Bawaka Homeland - Lonely 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 to the Nhulunbuy jetty. From here you’ll 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
  • Bawaka Homeland - Yolngu cultural activities
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at this calm waterside retreat before catching a boat back to the mainland. Check back into your accommodation in Nhulunbuy 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
  • Dhambaliya (Bremer Island) - Cultural activities
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After a final breakfast at your lodge, your adventure comes to an end. Transfer to Gove airport for your farewell to East Arnhem Land and your outbound flight.
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Departure Transfer
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Speedboat

Accommodation

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

Included activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Bawaka Homeland - Welcome to Country traditional smoking ceremony
  • Bawaka Homeland - Lonely 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 not available on this trip.
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.
4. If you are wanting additional accommodation on Bremer Island or in Nhulunbuy, you will need to book online with the hotel.
5. In order to protect the Indigenous communities that we visit on this trip, our local partners require that all travellers must provide a negative COVID-19 test before joining a trip. This test must be taken within 72 hours of Day 1 of your trip. You will need to present evidence of when the test was taken, along with the negative result (digital or paper) to your Intrepid Tour Leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1. If you are unable to take and receive the results of a test within 72 hours of Day 1, please contact us to discuss your options further.
6. The complimentary arrival transfer is only available for Day 1 of the trip. If you are arriving early, the trip will start at the Walkabout Lodge, 12 Westal St, Nhulunbuy NT 0880, where you will have your Welcome Meeting at 6.30pm.

Essential trip information

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