With a total area of 97,000 square kilometres, which includes Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land is home to the region's largest predator – the saltwater crocodile – dugong and nesting turtles, as well as hundreds of bird species.
One of the Top End's most spectacular natural destinations, its beautiful and diverse scenery includes rugged coastlines, sandy beaches , remote islands, rivers teeming with fish, towering escarpments and Garig Gunak National Park. Prolific wildlife includes hundreds of bird species including jacana, azure kingfishers, magpie geese, brolga and jabiru. The region is one of the world’s best fishing destinations and you can join a bluewater fishing charter to catch red emperor, Spanish mackerel and coral trout, or cruise inland on a tidal estuary in search of the famed barramundi.
The region takes its name from the Dutch East India Company ship named after the city of Arnhem, which in 1623 rounded what its captain subsequently named Cape Arnhem, to sail into the Gulf of Carpentaria. This area has been continuously occupied by indigenous peoples for tens of thousands of years, and it is here that the oldest-known stone axe – believed to be 35,500 years old – was found. It was declared an Aboriginal Reserve in 1931, and remains one of the largest in Australia – famed for the art and the traditions of its indigenous inhabitants.
Northeast Arnhem Land is home to the Yolngu, one of the country’s largest indigenous groups, who maintain a vigorous traditional culture. Arnhem Land is also notable for Aboriginal rock-art – some of the finest examples are found at Ubirr Rock, Injalak Hill, and in the Canon Hill area.
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