Stretching across the north-eastern corner of the Northern Territory, the remote wilderness of Arnhem Land is home to one of the oldest surviving cultures on Earth. Outback Spirit will show you the Australia few ever get to see.
Arnhem Land is sacred Aboriginal land that very few outsiders get to experience. Outback Spirit is the only tour company with permission to travel right through the heart of this vast region. From Nhulunbuy in the east across the top of Arnhem Land to the Cobourg Peninsula in the west, this unique 13 day adventure will awaken new perspectives and a deeper understanding of this ancient landscape, one that remains a vital cultural stronghold for Indigenous Australians.
Outback Spirit worked in consultation with traditional owners and the Northern Land Council to build a network of luxury lodges and design authentic cultural experiences to enable this ground-breaking adventure. We’re privileged to be able to showcase this very special part of the world and take great pleasure in providing an insight into Arnhem Land’s ancient Indigenous culture and pristine wilderness.
Here are a few unforgettable highlights.
Welcome to Country
The Yolngu people have lived in Arnhem Land for more than 60,000 years. In Yirrkala, witnessing the Welcome to Country ceremony on the sand of Cape Wirrwawuy, you can feel the sense of timelessness. Here you will be immersed into this cultural tradition and welcomed by the land’s original custodians to begin your journey of discovery. Bush medicine and ancient traditions remain strong here – locals share stories of kinship and custom in this place where the Aboriginal land rights movement first began.
Early in the morning, as mist slowly burns off under the bright sun, the wetland thrums to life. A vast array of bird and animal life converge on these life-giving waters… Brolgas wade on spindly legs in the shallows and flocks of magpie geese skim across the top of water rippled by stealthy crocs. This is the Arafura Swamp, a vast wetland of immense cultural significance to local Indigenous people. It formed the stunning backdrop for the acclaimed film ‘Ten Canoes’ and remains one of Arnhem Land’s most spectacular locations.
On the banks of the Arafura Swamp is a place called Murwangi home to Outback Spirit’s stunning safari camp. Overlooking a tranquil lagoon, it’s exclusive to Outback Spirit guests and barely makes a footprint on the pristine landscape. Your deluxe safari suite features an ensuite bathroom, luxurious furnishings, air conditioning and a balcony from which to admire the view. The restaurant serves as the hub of the camp, where our in-house chef prepares outstanding cuisine. Explore the mystery, wonder and wildlife of the Arafura Swamp with Traditional Owners during a 4WD safari and wetlands cruise that takes in this spell-binding slice of Arnhem Land.
The wild Tomkinson and Liverpool rivers are brimming with barramundi, longtail tuna and giant trevally – the prizes of Australian fishing. Outback Spirit has unique licences and permission from traditional owners to fish these rivers; you can’t just turn up and cast a line. From state-of-the-art Ocean Master boats and accompanied by expert fishing guides,
you’ll have the chance to hook one of these iconic fish and have the chef back at the aptly named Barramundi Lodge cook up your catch.
Ancient Rock Art
The cave walls whisper the stories of long ago at Mount Borradaile. Inside some of the best-preserved rock-art galleries in Australia, you’ll find artwork dating back over 50,000 years, the most magnificent example a six-metre, ochre-coloured rainbow serpent snaking across the sandstone roof. At the Major Art “gallery”, handprints still vivid in yellow and red speak of the people who give this place a powerful sense of spirit along with scenes telling tales of first contact with Europeans. During your two-night stay at Mount Borradaile you will explore this incredibly remote 700 square kilometre reserve by boat and safari vehicle, guided by local experts for an in-depth cultural discovery like no other.
Sea and Safari
In one of the least inhabited spots on Earth, on the Cobourg Peninsula, sits Seven Spirit Bay – Outback Spirit’s flagship Arnhem Land lodge. From this luxuriously tropical, palm-shaded haven overlooking Coral Bay you’ll spend three exclusive nights exploring the treasures of the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park and the Cobourg Marine Park Sanctuary. Stay in luxurious ‘Habitat Villas’ set amongst the forested coastline and enjoy exceptional cuisine delivered by our renowned in-house chefs in our fully licensed restaurant.
Your time here is filled with unique activities. Enjoy scenic marine adventures with the chance to spot dolphins, dugongs and turtles swimming the iridescent waters and cast a line from our fleet of fishing boats to hook a barramundi or equally dynamic tropical species. There’s also 4WD safaris to visit the historic Victoria Settlement at Port Essington, the multi-hued cliffs of Rainbow Beach and extraordinary nypa palm dotted bushland surrounding Seven Spirit Bay. It’s a surreal spot – where red outback meets ‘impossibly’ turquoise coast and a place that will stay with you for a lifetime.
For more information
Freecall 1800 688 222