Visiting Arnhem Land and the very high finish of the High Finish is an journey in and of itself, however what’s there to do when you’re there? Right here’s what we acquired as much as at Seven Spirit Bay on the Cobourg Peninsula, the NT’s most northerly level.
We peer out from below the wing of our four-seater Cessna 210 as our pilot Simon concentrates on his touchdown strategy.
The final 45 minutes have ‘flown by’ as we watch the panorama under us swap busy streets of Darwin Metropolis for the glistening waters of the Arafura Sea. Glancing off the sting of the Tiwi Islands, our flightpath leads inevitably to the distant Cobourg Peninsula.
Quickly, the dense eucalypt scrub and deep pink grime of this distant realm of Arnhem Land offers solution to a pure clearing: the shelf of an historic coral reef the place the seas as soon as lapped way back. It now serves as the proper touchdown strip that Simon now goals for.
That is considered one of two scenic flights out and in of the Cobourg Peninsula we get with this Seven Spirit Bay & Darwin Brief Break. We later head again to Darwin in a barely greater 14-seater airplane—an SA-226 Merlin III.
Try our video wrap of the issues you’ll be able to see and do with Outback Spirit in Seven Sprit Bay.
We go away Simon taxiing again up the dusty runway and hop within the ready Landcruiser sure for Seven Spirit Bay Lodge; residence for the following 4 days.
The mud from the unsealed street billows behind us, mixing with the smoke from an encroaching bushfire. Its slow-moving low burn kindles fascination greater than concern in us.
The hearth additionally pushes wildlife out into the open, and we’re fortunate to see two younger Banteng—endangered wild ox introduced over from Indonesia over the eons. It’s a worthy introduction to what will likely be a type of indelible journey experiences that punctuate our recollections.
Experiences At Seven Spirit Bay, Northern Arnhem Land
We’ve made it. We’re on the Cobourg Peninsula, the second most northerly level of mainland Australia. However now what?
Seven Spirit Bay Lodge and Outback Spirit have a spread of choices for you whilst you’re right here—even in case you simply need to sit, loosen up and benefit from the stunning environment of this elegant safari-style resort.
Victoria Settlement Historic Expedition
Hidden in a sheltered bay a few promontories from Seven Spirit Bay Lodge, the nineteenth Century ruins of Victoria Settlement (aka ‘VicSet’) disguise within the coastal jungle of Arnhem Land.
The ghostly rocks and tumble-down partitions of this British outpost inform tales of what life should have been like for the 11 years that white folks resided right here from 1838.
The 2 hours it takes to stroll the loop across the settlement, listening to our information describe the hardships the group confronted, tells an enchanting story of the residents’ robust lives right here. Click on right here for a reality sheet on VicSet from the NT Authorities.
Fishing Journey within the Arafura Sea
It’s a uncommon deal with to fish within the Northern Territory. We exit on a half-day fishing journey across the varied headlands of the peninsula. Sadly, it’s not barramundi season, however golden trevally and mackerel are all the time right here.
Christina pulls within the first catch of a day: an indignant, sharp-toothed barracuda. Subsequent it’s my flip to snag one. It’s a thriller fish that we later ID as an enormous herring, however our haul is sort of secondary to simply being on the water right here, admiring the distinctive shoreline.
Birdlife right here can be fascinating. At one level, we even see a pair of white bellied sea eagles paddling within the shallows of a abandoned seaside.
Seven Spirit Bay Lodge already units the scene with its sport lodge vibes, however going out into the bush in an open-sided ATV recognizing every kind of birds, beasts and flora brings that safari really feel into even sharper focus.
Watching water buffalo and banteng seep like shadows into the comb is one factor, however then exploring on foot alongside pebbly shores strewn with shells and driftwood is one other.
It feels just like the watchful eye of our information is the one factor defending us from the saurian gaze of crocodiles that certainly have to be lurking in every single place. At one level, Christina spots a fin within the water. We expect it’s a shark at first, nevertheless it seems to be a sawtooth—a extremely endangered type of ray with an extended beak like a hedge trimmer.
The safari ends with a pleasant long-table lunch by the seaside at Vashon Head within the shade of an amazing tree.
After all, mountaineering on this a part of the world might be harmful. Other than the varied and varied animals capable of result in your demise, it’s straightforward to get misplaced within the bush. Nonetheless, guides are all the time available to take us spherical the world.
We find out about how the indigenous folks of the area, the Yolngu and Bininj, use the crops and panorama. We additionally maintain an eye fixed out for agile wallabies and eagles, snakes and crocodiles as we roam this beautiful coastal wilderness.
Darwin Sundown Cruise
The final night time of our journey with Outback Spirit is again in Darwin. The coach from our resort drops us off on the busy Stokes Wharf. We board the Charles Darwin pleasure boat and sail out alongside the coast whereas the solar flames crimson and gold into the far watery horizon.
And as night time falls, the lights of town take over the solar’s mantle and sparkle throughout the water. Quickly, the turning lights of the ferris wheel on Stokes Wharf—a part of the non permanent Skyline Precinct dry-season set up—welcome us again to dry land and the top of our Arnhem Land journey.