Permits: we have a problem


I’ve made enquiries with the Northern Land Council regarding permits for access to Arnhem Land in September. According to their site there should be no issue getting the 4WDs in – around 10 days’ notice is all they need to issue the permits. Though the site doesn’t mention bikes at all, I’d heard that there might be some issue getting permits for them, and an email back from NLC last week confirmed that:

Thank you for you email but unfortunately Northern Land Council has came to an agreement with the Traditional Land Owners of East Arnhem land stating that the Land Owners don’t allow motorcycles in any area within East Arnhem that would also include the Central Arnhem Road.

It appears that permits are not required when travelling on public, gazetted roads. From what I can tell, the public road ends where the Central Arnhem Road starts – about 150km from Lake Evella. The road forks at that point, and a permit is not required for the other track, leading north to Ramingining.

So, assuming that we can’t obtain some sort of special exemption for the bikes, we still have some options. We can trailer the bikes in; we can find a place to leave the bikes, as close as possible to our destination, or we can find another route for the bikes and/or the 4WDs.

But I’m not there yet. I’ve asked our friends in Arnhem land to look into what we might be able to do; and one of the my travelling companions is making further investigations with the NLC to see what avenues we might be able to take there.

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