An overland journey through Arnhem Land is a ticket to a world filled with Indigenous culture and wildlife.

Story + Photos Mark Daffey

The final 8km descent towards Arnhem Land’s Murwangi Safari Camp is easily the smoothest section of road during the long drive from the Gove Peninsula township of Nhulunbuy. From the monotony of driving over unsealed roads across a forested

tabletop escarpment for hours on end, visitors on the dusty track emerge from savanna woodlands into floodplains that are teeming with wildlife, both native and introduced.

Brumbies, cattle and buffaloes are all sighted on the graded approach into camp. Cathedral termite mounds that are hundreds of years old tower above rust-coloured soils that soak up metres of rain during the wet. Above, whistling kites share smoky skies with gaggles of handsome magpie geese, while hidden somewhere among the spinifex clumps and paperbark trees are venomous snakes and spiders.

Murwangi marks the first stop on the only commercial overland tours across Arnhem Land. Outback Spirit’s 13-day Arnhem Land Wilderness Adventure tours run every second or third day from May to September. Guest accommodation throughout the tour ranges from clean, comfortable lodges and safari-style glamping tents to breezy ensuite cabins and luxury habitat villas. Outback Spirit currently owns 3 of the 5 accommodation stays – Murwangi, Barramundi Lodge and Seven Spirit Bay.

This story excerpt is from Issue #151

Outback Magazine: Oct/Nov 2023