SOUTH-EAST ARNHEM LAND, NT
Battling bulldust to reach Arnhem Land’s secluded secrets.
BULLDUST streamed off the churning Mickey Thompson mud terrains. Locked into the GPS were the co-ordinates for Wuyagiba Outstation, 560km east-southeast of Darwin on the eastern side of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. Any 4x4 with well-mannered suspension should sail over the wide and frequently used gravel track that led us towards the Wuyagiba turn-off from the main track. A south-easterly turn then pointed to a recently graded track, but deep channels of bulldust remained. Low-lying scrub clawed at the paintwork as the track narrowed, and it became a balancing act between the bulldust and the tight track to keep the vehicle and camper aligned. There’s no denying a fourbie was essential to completing the 40-odd kilometres out to Wuyagiba, but it was all worth it when we arrived at the coast. We were warmly welcomed by the traditional owner Kevin Rogers, who’s an incredible chap to talk to. Kevin has enjoyed a colourful life and is a very learned man, having attended university to study linguistics – he was also a Golden Gloves
IT WAS ALL WORTH IT WHEN WE ARRIVED AT THE COAST
IT BECAME A BALANCING ACT BETWEEN THE BULLDUST AND THE TIGHT TRACK
boxer in his younger years. Several dwellings and small amenity blocks can be found here, and the homestead often provides accommodation for seasonal buffalo hunters. An estuary system not too far from the homestead can be accessed by four-wheel drive, and there’s a suitable spot to launch a small boat. These waters are inhabited by crocodiles, and we were reminded of this when a juvenile crocodile started snapping at our lures. Crocs aren’t the only concern, as we had a massive buffalo bathe in the mud only metres from our boat. A 4km drive along the beach in a northerly direction leads to a camp spot on the edge of sand dune vegetation. We took the opportunity to sit back and soak up the sensational NT sunset, with the ocean breeze lifting the aromatic smells of our campfire feast. This camp spot even boasts a new eco toilet hut that is (bizarrely) about two metres off the ground. Upon leaving the remote outstation of Wuyagiba for the journey north, we arrived at the coastal town of Numbulwar, located about 83km from Wuyagiba, and were greeted by the clear blue waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria – a beautiful site
Diesel and Opal are available at Numbulwar’s 24-hour pumps.