The Central Arnhem Rd turn off is situated 50km south of Katherine on the Stuart Highway. The distance is 710 km between Katherine & Nhulunbuy through Central Arnhem Land. There are two fuel stops. The first one is 240 km from Katherine at Mainoru Outback Store (500 km South of Gove/Nhulunbuy). There is also a fuel stop at Bulman (420 km South of Gove/Nhulunbuy). Hours of operation are subject to change and you should check with the Katherine Visitor Center to confirm before your drive.
To travel the Central Arnhem Road (4WD only) requires crossing many clan lands and a permit from the Northern Land Council (NLC) is required. There is no fee but it is necessary to monitor the numbers of people on the road to maintain this region. You can access the NLC Road Permit Application Form at the Northern Land Council website: http://nlc.org.au
A great source of information available online at http://eastarhemland.com.au
A recreational permit is compulsory for visitors to venture outside of the marked Nhulunbuy town lease boundary to recreational sites. These permits must be obtained from Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation website: www. dhimurru.com.au for a minimal cost.
ALCOHOL LIQUOR PERMITS
Alcohol restrictions apply across the East Arnhem region. You will need to obtain a permit to purchase takeaway liquor from the Liquor Permit Office in Nhulunbuy. The Gove Boat Club can also assist with submitting your liquor permit application.
A high clearance four wheel drive vehicle is essential for travelling this route. Be sure to engage 4WD on all dirt roads. The Central Arnhem Highway is a dirt road, which can reduce visibility considerably with vehicles coming from the other direction. There can be large corrugations and roads are prone to washouts during the wet season or periods of rain. Do not swim at the river crossings as salt water crocodiles inhabit these areas. Be particularly careful at night – buffaloes and other animals can stray on to the road. Be sure to drive to the conditions at all times. DO NOT SPEED! Carry plentiful food, fuel and water, spare tyre(s) and a puncture repair kit.
Check road conditions before you leave. Conditions can vary from sealed. roads to gravel and dirt roads, and can be affected by weather. Do not travel on a road that has been closed, and do not attempt to cross flooded roads or bridges unless absolutely certain of the depth and the road condition. For more details on Road Conditions visit www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/roadreport.