The Cobourg Peninsula lies on the western tip of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. It is protected by the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, which also encompasses the surrounding waters of the Arafura Sea, Van Dieman Gulf, and scattered neighbouring islands.
To protect and minimise the environmental impact on this pristine area, a permit is required to stay overnight and only 20 vehicles are permitted into the park at any one time, meaning you'll hardly see another person the whole time you are there!
Rich with diversity, there is much to see and experience on this narrow passage of land. Discover coastal tracks and inspiring bushwalks. Experience excellent bird-watching and world-class fishing. Visit the historical ruins of Victoria Settlement and learn about the failed settlement attempts in the mid-1800s. Learn about the rich cultural history of the area.
With so much to do, it pays to spend some extra time out here to appreciate how remarkable it is. But where to stay?
Venture North Safaris operate small group tours to the Cobourg Peninsula. Our 5-Day Kakadu, Arnhem Land and Cobourg Penisula Tour is our most popular; however, we can also tailor private charters to visit this unique location.
Our favourite! (Of course!) Venture North's unique safari-style camp is located within the Cobourg Peninsula overlooking the bay of Port Essington. Nestled amongst savannah bushland are canvas safari tents that provide a comfortable night’s accommodation. The deluxe eco tents are designed to blend into the natural surroundings and are perfectly positioned high on the cliff, taking full advantage of the spectacular view. Each tent is twin-share, containing two beds (all linen included), a bedside table, and light.
Fresh sashimi, oysters and maybe a gin & tonic at sunset overlooking Port Essington epitomises what’s different about the unique experience at Cobourg Coastal Camp. A truly Top End experience, first class.
- Leigh Clifford, ex Chairman of QANTAS
Individual amenities are located just behind the accommodation and are linked by well-maintained pathways. Outdoor monsoonal hot-water showers allow you to embrace nature with private views of the surrounding bushland!
Enjoy a sundowner and nibbles, served on the cliff top each evening, the perfect vantage point to watch the sun setting over the bay—a classic Top End sunset. You might even spot a salite or two.
With all meals included, dinners are prepared by our camp chef each evening in a commercial-style kitchen, incorporating freshly caught fish (your own if you like), fresh vegetables and a variety of local produce. Communal spaces include a pavilion dining area where guests and staff can share the day’s highlights. In addition, a comfortable lounge area and an extensive library are freely available to anyone who wishes to browse some local literature.
Operating during the dry season (May through October), the camp caters for a maximum of 16 guests, although for most of the season, just 6 or 12 guests will share the camp at any one time. Access is via road or air charter.
Our popular 5-Day Kakadu, Arnhem Land and Cobourg Penisula Tour includes accommodation at this fantastic location and combines Kakadu National Park. Starting from $3950pp twin share, this includes transport from Darwin, accommodation at the camp, meals, tours and required permits. FInd out more here.
If choosing to self-drive, camping is permitted at Smith Point in designated areas only. There are two main camping areas in the park. All sites are unpowered. Campground 1 allows generators, whereas Campground 2 does not.
Camping areas have showers, composting toilets, barbecues, tables and limited amounts of bore water.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 5 adults to camp for up to 7 nights. Extra adult passengers cost $11. Children under 16 years old are free. Be sure the plan your journey well. Especially navigating Cahills Crossing. It has a repulation as one of Australia's most notorious crossings!
To apply for a permit contact Parks and Wildlife NT. You can apply for a permit online.
If camping, be sure to check out one of our Cobourg Fishing Safari Black Point Day Tours departing from the nearby Black Point Boat ramp.
If luxury accommodation is what you are seeking, and budget allows for it, Seven Spirit Bay could be your place. Accessible only by boat or air, this wilderness retreat offers ultra-luxurious accommodations overlooking Port Essington and Coral Bay. The Habitat Villas are dotted throughout the native rainforest and provide King Bedding, an ensuite bathroom and a private balcony. In addition, the property has a swimming pool, a comfortable bar & lounge area and expansive verandahs. Meals prepared by in-house chefs are served in the main restaurant. This iconic wilderness lodge is the height of luxury, and rates start from $2595 per villa/per night including meals and activities. Charter flights not included. Find out more on their website