Permits for Cobourg Peninsula - Garig Gunak Barlu National Park

This page has information for people who want to visit Garig Gunak Barlu National Park in the Northern Territory (NT).

You do not need a permit to visit the park, but you do need a camping permit to stay in the park overnight.

The park is open only in the Dry Season, from May until October.

How to get to the park

By road

The road to Garig Gunak Barlu National Park goes through Arnhem Land and is unsealed.

The roads are usually open in the Dry Season, during May to October, depending on the rains.

Check road conditions before you travel.

Roads can be closed for ceremonial reasons with little or no notice.

Roads are narrow, dusty and corrugated with blind corners and dangerous bends.

Beware of oncoming traffic and drive slowly, with extreme care, especially between Murgenella and Black Point

Fuel is available at Jabiru. Be sure to carry fuel to cover the 640km round trip through the park and for your stay.

You can't buy fuel in the park.

You should check tide charts before setting out.

The tides at Cahills Crossing are about six hours behind Darwin tides. Some tides may prevent you crossing the river.

By air

Charter flights are available. For more information ring the Black Point ranger station.

Phone: 08 8979 0244

The airstrip is 2km from the campground and 5km from Black Point.

By sea

The park is 150 nautical miles from Darwin.

There are coral reefs and scenic anchorages for all types of boats.

The best time to visit is between August and October when moderating east to southeast winds prevail.

Cyclones can occur between November and April.


You must pay your camping fees at least six weeks before you travel to the park.

Permits to camp at Garig Gunak Barlu National Park cost $232.10 per vehicle.

The permit allows up to five adults to camp for up to seven nights.

Extra adult passengers cost $11. Children under 16 years old are free.

You can pay your permit fee by cash, cheque, money order or credit card.

Park rules

You and everyone in your group must follow all of these rules:

  • don't enter Arnhem Land or Garig Gunak Barlu National Park until the start date on your permit
  • leave on the expiry date on your permit
  • when you enter the park you must report to the ranger station at Black Point
  • do not enter the marine buffer zone around Coral Bay, Reef Point, or nearby pearling lease areas
  • Sandy Islands I and II are conservation areas and you must not go there or within 500 metres.

What is not allowed

You must not bring any of the following into Garig Gunak Barlu National Park:

  • pets including dogs - only trained assistance dogs are allowed
  • firearms
  • hunting bows or crossbows
  • any weapon
  • an animal trap, including crab pots
  • a snare, spear gun or fishing net - cast nets are allowed.

You can use hand spears in the park.

Swimming is not allowed.

Rules for vehicles

All of the following rules apply to vehicles:

  • your vehicle must be a four wheel drive in good condition, and you must carry spare parts, fuel and water
  • you must clean your vehicle before you enter the park to prevent the spread of weeds or cane toads
  • caravans, motorcycles, quad bikes and similar vehicles are not allowed
  • alcohol may be carried but must not consumed while travelling through Arnhem Land
  • you must not not stop between the East Alligator River / Cahills Crossing and the park boundary
  • you must get permission from the Northern Land Council if you want to stop or explore Arnhem Land
  • you must not stop in Arnhem Land except in an emergency.

Boating rules and advice

The following are rules and advice for safety and comfort:

  • prepare for a remote boating experience
  • you can ring Black Point Ranger Station (08) 8979 0244 for advice on road conditions and the best fishing tackle to bring
  • when you arrive ask the ranger about places to fish and local conditions
  • the boat ramp at the Ranger Station is on the eastern shore of Port Essington with access to good fishing areas in the Dry Season when south-easterly winds prevail
  • register details of your boating trip at the Ranger Station before you set out
  • tell the ranger if you want to visit Victoria Settlement by boat - there is no road access
  • if you are staying overnight on your boat, register at the Black Point Ranger Station on arrival
  • skippers of large vessels must tell rangers their location via VHF Channel 16
  • you can use a cast net for recreational fishing.

Camping facilities

There is one main camping area in the park.

There are no powered sites.

Campground 1 is for campers without generators.

Campground 2 is for those using generators.

Generators should be no louder than 65 decibels when heard from 7m. Turn off generators at 9pm.

Camping areas have showers, composting toilets, barbecues, tables and limited amounts of bore water.

Use water sparingly and do not wash boats or cars.

Last updated: 14 April 2022

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