Idyllic rare beauty
It may take a long time to get to Gove but it’s worth every minute
YOU won’t pass through this gem of a town by accident or on your way to somewhere else.
To get to Nhulunbuy you’ll need to go out of your way, like a 1000 kilometres out of your way.
And the drive is not for the faint hearted, nor a humble sedan.
You need to be prepared, you need to have grit and you need to have a desire to get out to this place.
But once you arrive, you’ll understand what all the fuss is about.
While the rest of the Territory squirms under the prevailing heat of the build up, the town of Nhulunbuy is caressed by cool sea breezes.
Located on the Gove Peninsula, it is fringed by the Arafura Sea and Melville Bay.
With 270 degrees of coastline surrounding this town, it’s no wonder the locals look more like laid-back tourists.
We start our day with a coffee run to the Refinery Cafe, then head down to Little Bondi.
No parking hassles and no-one on the beach.
This sure beats it’s more wellknown cousin.
The white sand is only punctured by sand dollars, and the azure water stretches as far as the eye can see.
Swimming in this region is a bit of a contradictory topic.
Some areas are completely off limits, while other areas are deemed not so risky.
Diving is a passion for many locals and the surf club patrols beaches during the dry season.
And so the contradiction continues.
But any swimming in the Top End comes with known dangers, and so the key is to be aware and put your safety first above all else.
We stop at Yirrkala to visit the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre.
There are art centres and then there are art centres.
This structure would not be out of place nestled under the Sydney Opera House and yet as you walk through the front door, elders are sitting comfortably on the floor painting their historic stories using ancient methods.
We say hello to elder and resident artist Mulkan, whose powerful works are currently touring Australia.
Small town living has perks us city folk can only dream of.
It seems the kind people of Nhulunbuy have channelled all their spare time and built a town teeming with recreational activities and clubs, and they’re only more than keen to show visitors what their hometown has to offer.
Fishing is a rite of passage here, and there are plenty of charter companies to sign up with.
Try your luck and you might reel in a Spanish Mackerel or perhaps a Red Emperor.
No matter what, a day on the water won’t disappoint.
With the sun setting it’s time to sit back, let someone else cook the fish and have a cold one.
The Gove Boat Club is one of the many options to do just that.
The playground entertains the kids while we enjoy a golden moment with new friends.
It’s an idyllic life at the Gove Boat Club