Arnhem Land is one of Australia’s most remote regions and an area of a spectacular rugged natural beauty and wilderness. It is home to Kakadu National Park, but beyond Kakadu there is an incredible world to be discovered, unlike any other.
Arnhem Land has been home to its traditional people – the Yolngu – for around 60,000 years and today they still make up the majority of the population. Arnhem Land offers visitors the chance to see a little known part of Australia and experience the Yolngu people’s rich and vibrant culture firsthand.
The local land has deep spiritual significance to the Yolngu and special ‘ceremony country’ areas are protected. Arnhem Land can only be accessed by permit or private tours, which further protects this sacred and pristine part of Australia’s north. Local culture is strong and sacred rituals and ‘business’ are still carried out across the region. Many Yolngu live traditionally in this area in small communities known as ‘outstations’, without Western influence.
Aboriginal bark paintings that can be seen on display in the world’s great galleries are from Yolngu culture. It’s also where the world famous didgeridoo originated and is home to some spectacular rock art from thousands of years before colonisation. Yolngu art and stories feature many of the region’s natural inhabitants – from saltwater crocodiles to dugongs, turtles and migratory birds.
Popular activities in the region include deep-sea fishing trips, Indigenous community tours and immersive experiences, camping and four-wheel driving adventures, art and cultural heritage tours and soaking in the spectacular natural environment through swimming, bushwalking or bird watching.
Arnhem Land is best accessed from the regional towns of Nhulunbuy or Jabiru and flights are available from Cairns or Darwin. A permit is required to access many areas of Arnhem Land, but it’s definitely worth it.
Images courtesy of Paul Arnold