East Arnhem Land Adventure

Journey to the farthest reaches of remote Northern Australia to visit the rugged and spiritual East Arnhem Land and learn about the oldest civilization on earth.
Darwin, Australia
6 days, 5 nights
Max Group Size
Max Group Size
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Minimum Age
Minimum Age
15 years
Fitness Level
Fitness Level
What's Included

  • Accommodation – 2 nights in a hotel, 2 nights in a bunkhouse, & 1 night in a beach bungalow
  • Meals – 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Transport in an air-conditioned vehicle and speedboat
  • Welcome to Country traditional smoking ceremony
  • Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre
  • Yolngu cultural class & activities
  • Dhambaliya (Bremer Island) – cultural activities

Where we visit:

  • Gove
  • Nhulunbuy
  • Yirrkala
  • Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre
  • Lovely Beach
  • Bawaka Homeland
  • Dhambaliya (Bremer Island)
What's excluded

  • Flights
What to Expect

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.


Day 1 – Gove/Nhulunbuy

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 one of the restaurants here in Nhulunbuy.

Travel time: 15 mins
No meals included. 


    Days 2-3 – Yirrkala to  Bawaka Homeland

    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. 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.


    Travel time: 1 hr 15 mins
    All meals included.


    Day 4 – Bawaka Homeland to Nhulunbuy

    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.


    Travel time: 1 hr
    All meals included.


    Day 5 – Nhulunbuy to Dhambaliya (Bremer Island)

    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. If this is sounding too active to you, then just sit back, relax, and experience the remote solitude and a chance to recharge.


    Travel time: 1 hr
    All meals included.


    Day 6 – Dhambaliya (Bremer Island) to Nhulunbuy/Gove

    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.


    Travel time: 1 hr 15 mins
    Breakfast included. 

      Frequently Asked Questions

      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’.

      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. 

      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.

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      The minimum age for the East Arnhem Land Adventure is 15 years. 

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      Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, a camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

      Personal items might include reef-safe sunscreen, insect repellant, insect bite cream/antihistamine, painkillers, toiletries, antibacterial gel/wipes, a small first-aid kit, and personal medication. 

      Other items should include a camera, water bottle, hat, sunglasses, jacket, thongs, walking shoes, swimmers, beach towel, umbrella, and comfortable clothing. 

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      Our emphasis is on fresh food wherever possible and our meals are nutritious and varied. We cater for vegetarian and gluten intolerance – please advise at time of booking so that arrangements can be made.

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      During this trip, you'll travel by a combination of private vehicle and speedboat. 

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      All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

      The physical rating on this trip is 2 out of 5. This means there are some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.

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      Terms & Conditions:

      • While the operator endeavours to operate all trips as described we reserve the right to change the trip itinerary
      • Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-destination. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience
      • Travel insurance is mandatory for all our travellers and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US$200,000 for each of the categories of cover
      • The group trips are run by a group leader. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any person participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right to refund

      Important Information

      Not all Intrepid tours are 'confirmed bookings'. When this is the case, our Backpacker Deals Agents will reach out to confirm with Intrepid and notify you within 48hrs that your booking is confirmed

      • Meals: It is prohibited to take alcohol on this trip as much of East Arnhem Land is alcohol-free. Our emphasis is on fresh food wherever possible and our meals are nutritious and varied. We cater for vegetarian and gluten intolerance – please advise at time of booking so that arrangements can be made
      • Health: All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel
      • Accommodation: This trip is conducted in remote areas with only basic facilities at times and limited communications links to the outside world. When staying in the Bawaka Homelands you may be asked to help with the preparation of food, washing of dishes and general assistance as directed by the guides.
      • Luggage Restrictions:  Luggage must be kept to a maximum of 15kgs per person in a backpack or soft overnight bag with a small additional day pack
      • Money Matters: Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. 
      • Safety: The Northern Territory is home to some of Australia's most dangerous animals include crocodile, box jellyfish, insects, spiders, and snakes. Please use your own common sense and good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Observe crocodile warning signs and never swim outside of designated recreational areas. Check with your guides and hosts for swimming advice during stinger season. Keep to marked paths when walking and wear protective clothing and enclosed shoes. Tap your shoes out before putting them on. Cover up against mosquitoes by wearing long pants and sleeves and use a reputable repellent.

      Cancellation Policy:

      Cancellation by the traveller If you cancel some or all portions of your booking cancellation fees will apply. A cancellation will only be effective when we receive written confirmation of the cancellation.

      • Cancellation 30 days or more prior to departure, the operator will retain the deposit
      • Cancellation between 15 and 29 days prior to departure, the operator will retain 50% of the total booking cost
      • Cancellation 14 days or less prior to departure, the operator will retain 100% paid by you in connection with the booking
      •  If you fail to join a tour, join it after departure, or leave it prior to its completion, no refund will be made
      • Note that different cancellation conditions apply to some trips and additional services

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