Arnhem Odyssey (Part 3)
  |  First Published: December 2005

This article is the last of my three-part series on my trip in Nhulunbuy. My trip to the Northern Territory has provided me with a greater insight into how lucky we are to have such pristine fishing grounds in Australia. After fishing the waters of the Top End it will be tough to return to Brisbane, where chasing fish requires a more tactical approach.


A bauxite mining operation is what keeps the town of Nhulunbuy on the go, and most of the people living there are the men who work on the various operations around the town. The town has everything you need for a comfortable stay – Woolworth’s, butchers, bakery and even a pizza shop. Just remember that the prices can be a bit high because this town is so remote.


There are plenty things to do in this region, everything from bird watching to exploring the untouched beaches. Turtle, Town and Wallaby beaches are a short drive from town and are deserted most of the time. Millions of shells wash up on these beaches every day.

Fishing charters

For a remote location there are quite a few charters on offer, whether its bottom bashing or chasing bruisers on fly there’s something for everyone. Gove Sports fishing charters offer a top deal, 210 per person per day lunch inclusive. All gear is of the highest quality and their experience and knowledge of the area is unmatched.


There are literally thousands of places to camp throughout the Top End. One thing to consider however is gaining Aboriginal permission and have valid permits for some areas. During my stay I was fortunate enough to camp alongside the Giddy River for a few days, and let me tell you – some of this country is absolutely breath-taking. When travelling to the Top End I believe that camping is an activity that everyone should experience during their stay.

Giddy Rock Pools

One of the more well-known rivers in the Northern Territory is the Giddy River. Just a stone’s throw away from Nhulunbuy, this river is home to some of the most beautiful scenery that the Top End has to offer. During the dry season it’s possible to swim in the various rock pools in the Giddy.

The Giddy River is approximately 60km from Nhulunbuy. The road isn’t too bad during the dry, but it’s essential to get your car well maintained and checked before you set out because the road is heavily corrugated. You also have to check with local authorities before you go swimming in some of these rock pools, as during the wet season it’s common to find little crocs washed down from pool to pool.


When it comes to 4WDing, every kind of terrain is on offer at Nhulunbuy, from sand to rock hopping. Some of the tracks can be quite unforgiving so make sure you have quality recovery gear, including spare tyres. Some of the tracks around Turtle beach will require experience because they’re like talcum powder most of the time. Another track which the keen off-roaders will enjoy is the track out past the Conveyer Belt; this track can be summed up in two words: low range.


I hope this three-part series has helped to give you a few insights into the Nhulunbuy region and all it has to offer. As for me, my expedition through the Northern Territory, which has such plentiful numbers of fish, has somehow helped me appreciate my local areas down in Brisbane a lot more.

I have a some great ideas for articles in 2006, so until then have a happy and safe holiday season.

Until next month, good fishing.


1) The rock pools in the Giddy River are great swimming holes during the dry.

2) One of the many 4WD tracks that the Territory has to offer.

3) Camping on the beautiful Giddy River.

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