NORTHEAST ARNHEM LAND
The Yolngu region covers more than 40,000 square kilometres of Arnhem Land, from Cape Stewart in the west, to the Gove Peninsula in the east, and south as far as the Walker River. The whole of Arnhem Land is Aboriginal land and visitors are required to get a permit before travelling there.
The Gove Peninsula is situated 650 kilometres east of Darwin, on the northeastern corner of Arnhem Land where the Gulf of Carpentaria meets the Arafura Sea. The landscape is typical of the Top End - red earth, corkscrew palms, stringybarks and speargrass.
The Gove Peninsula has two main settlements: Yirrkala, and the mining township of Nhulunbuy.
The Indigenous township of Yirrkala has a population of 800, including a handful of non-Indigenous administrators, community workers and teachers. The town serves as a resource centre for a further 800 people who live in homeland centres on their own or close relatives' clan land.
The mining town of Nhulunbuy is just twenty kilometres from Yirrkala. It was constructed during the 1970s to service the development of a vast open-cut bauxite mine. Nhulunbuy is now the fourth-largest regional town in the Northern Territory.