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Arnhem Land

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Arnhem Land Region

The Arnhem Land Region, which forms part of the north-eastern border of the Northern Territory, is one of the territory's five regions. Located some 500 kilometres to the east of Darwin, the territory capital, the region's coastline directly faces the Van Dieman Gulf, the Arafura Sea, and the Gulf of Carpentaria. The area was named after the Arnhem, a Dutch tradeship (which itself was named after the city of Arnhem, in the Netherlands), by Matthew Flinders, former explorer and Captain of the British Royal Navy.

The Arnhem Land Region is situated within the State Districts of Arafura, Arnhem, and Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. As for the Australian House or Representatives, the region is represented by the Federal Division of Lingiari. Its land area of 97,000 square kilometres is sparsely populated by an estimated 16,230 residents.

One of the last unspoiled areas in the world, the Arnhem Land Region is considered private property. As such, most of the region is inaccessible to independent travellers. Once appropriate documentation from the Northern Land Council is secured, however, travel within the area is permitted, but only to Oenpelli, Gurig National Park in the Cobourg Peninsula, and the township of Gove Peninsula in Nhulunbuy.

Thanks perhaps to its seldom-fished waters, the Arnhem Land Region is considered one of the world's best fishing destinations. Enthusiasts can go Bluewater fishing for marlin off the region's coastline, or cruise inland on a tidal estuary in search of large barramundi.

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Ubirr rock art site Kakadu National Park thanks to Andrea Castelli