Garig Gunak Barlu National Park

Garig Gunak Barlu should be on every traveller's list.

It is at the very top of the Northern Territory (NT) and accessed by travelling through Arnhem Land.

It is a remote, rugged area fringed with magnificent white beaches on the Cobourg Peninsula.

The jointly-managed national park is perfect for bushwalking, birdwatching, fishing, boating and photography.

You may see saltwater crocodiles and the endangered dugong swimming in the clear blue ocean.

Stop at the Black Point Cultural Centre to see displays of Aboriginal, Macassan and European histories of the area.

Don't miss the ruins of the Victoria Settlement that are accessible only by boat.

Do not swim in the park as there are saltwater crocodiles and box jellyfish.

You must be fully self-sufficient and take enough food, water and fuel with you to last the trip, which is usually a week or more.

Get the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park fact sheet and map (769.0 kb).

Garig Gunak Barlu National Park Garig Gunak Barlu National Park - Beach Garig Gunak Barlu National Park - Dolphins

Permits

You need a permit to access Garig Gunak Barlu National Park.

Book well in advance, especially during school holidays.

You need a permit to stay in the park overnight on the peninsula, if you arrive by road, air or sea.

In quieter times allow two days to process permit applications. Give alternative dates if you can.

What to see and do

You can do all of the following activities in the park:

  • fishing
  • boating
  • wildlife watching
  • birdwatching
  • view historic ruins
  • bushwalking
  • scenic lookouts
  • camping – permit needed.

Get the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park fact sheet and map

For boating you should register your planned boating trips at the ranger station before you set out.

Camping

You will need a permit to camp.

How to get there

Find out how to get to the park by road, air or sea.

Camp only in marked camping areas

Check if this park is open

Find out if the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park is open.

Opening hours

All year round access by sea only.

Road access is during the Dry Season only.

Roads are open usually from 1 May to 31 October, but check with the permits office before heading out.

Contact

Phone: (08) 8979 0244

Facilities

Garig Gunak Barlu National Park has all of the following facilities:

  • information signs
  • Black Point Cultural Centre
  • ranger station
  • public telephone – you will need a phone card
  • 4WD tracks
  • fire pit
  • drinking water
  • public toilet
  • campground
  • accommodation
  • showers
  • boat ramp.

Please remember

When visiting the park, remember all of the following:

  • permits are needed
  • stay on marked roads and tracks
  • carry plenty of food and fuel and be equipped with:
    • water, ice, first aid kit, tool kit, spare tyres, fuel, vehicle parts, shade awning, fishing gear, camera and binoculars
  • a boat is very useful in this area
  • rubbish bins are only available for Smith Point campers
  • be prepared to burn paper or carry out recyclable materials
  • all cultural items and wildlife are protected
  • pets are not permitted
  • nets, traps and firearms are not permitted
  • be careful with fire, keep campfires small and only light fires in fireplaces provided
  • collect firewood before arriving at your picnic or campsite
  • collect fallen timber only
  • don't use soaps or detergent in or near waterways
  • generator camping area is provided
  • observe restrictions on fishing catches and areas – see rangers for more information
  • shells are recycled by marine wildlife – you can look, photograph and identify shells, but leave them on the beach
  • check your vehicle is not transporting pests.

Safety

You can have a safe and comfortable trip to Garig Gunak Barlu National Park by doing all of the following:

  • observe park safety signs
  • no swimming anywhere in the park due to saltwater crocodiles
  • carry and drink plenty of water
  • wear a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, suitable clothing and footwear
  • carry a first aid kit
  • avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day
  • make sure your vehicle and boat are well-maintained and equipped.

Last updated: 17 July 2017