Saturday, June 22, 2024

How To Go to Far North Arnhem Land

Reaching a hand out into the Arafura Sea, the fingers of the Cobourg Peninsula in Arnhem Land, NT signify essentially the most northerly level of the Australian Mainland after Cape York. Seven Spirit Bay and its luxurious safari lodge holds the important thing to seeing this magical a part of Australia.

Seven Spirit Bay Review

It’s a few 45-minute flight from Darwin For the the little 4-seater Cessna 210, it’s a 45-minute flight from Darwin to the touchdown strip at Vashon Head on the Cobourg Peninsula, round 60kms from the Tiwi Islands.

The views are astonishing from the home windows of our little airplane that our pilot Simon refers to because the ‘workhorse of the Outback’. Although to us it’s extra like a Mini Cooper with wings.

Whether or not it’s Simon’s expertise or our little workhorse’s personal alacrity, the touchdown on the unsealed bush airstrip declaring to the opalescent sea is smoother than our Qantas flight to Darwin hours earlier.

Try our video walkthrough of Seven Spirit Bay Lodge:

From the ‘airport’, our hosts and expedition leaders Jess and Rick drive us the 14-or-so kilometres by means of the dense tropical forests that cowl the peninsula.

At one level, we even come to a low-burning bushfire, which has crept proper to the sting of the dust highway. It’s protected for us to get out of the 4WD and have a more in-depth look, however it’s one other nudge telling us the place we’re.

In actual fact, Outback Spirit is the one tour firm granted permission to convey guests by means of Arnhem Land by the normal house owners, Yolngu, who name this land Miwatj (‘morning aspect’ or ‘land of the primary dawn’ in Yolngu Matha).

Seven Spirit Bay Review - Cesner 120 flight to Cobourg Peninsula Seven Spirit Bay Review - Vashon Head Landing Strip in the Cobourg Peninsula Seven Spirit Bay Review - Jim & Christina at Seven Spirit Bay Airport Lounge

Seven Spirits Bay Lodge—the habitat rooms

We arrive on the luxurious safari-style Seven Spirit Bay Lodge and examine into one of many 24 ‘habitat’ villas that attain out both aspect of the primary lodge alongside the Yellow Brick Street—the paved pathway that leads company by means of the forest.

We settle in, making an attempt to soak up simply how stunning this room is.

The large mattress acts because the centrepiece to this six-sided villa, going through out in direction of the massive timber-decked veranda and the view of the good blue bay by means of the bushes.

Seven Spirit Bay Review - bed of habitat villa Seven Spirit Bay Review - habitat villa Seven Spirit Bay Review - habitat villa bathroom

Shelving behind the mattress offers area for garments, suitcases and a small minibar (although we’re at all times too full and well-watered to ever want it), and beautiful touches like bug spray and biccies. There’s additionally a present of placemats for us to take house with images of the lodge and its bay.

The toilet is in the back of the ‘habitat’ with twin sinks, Earth Remedy facilities and a giant bathe room.

However it’s the partitions which can be most spectacular right here.

After we arrive, the air-con is working arduous in opposition to the afternoon warmth, however the room’s fairly darkish. We realise that the partitions are product of inner plantation shutters that lock to make stable surfaces or angle to let gentle and air in. On the opposite aspect of the shutters are some hardcore fly screens that hold the cabin a sealed unit.

The primary night time, we sleep with the shutters down and the air-con operating, however subsequent evenings, we simply have the shutters open and the ceiling followers on. Even this far north the night time air is cool in September and October, and the breeze off the ocean is fantastic.

Seven Spirit Bay Review - habitat villa view from bedSeven Spirit Bay Review - Christina on habitat villa balcony

Seven Spirit Bay—the lodge

In fact, we don’t get to spend a lot time in our villa apart from bedtime. For essentially the most half, we’re in the primary lodge both consuming, consuming, swimming or simply hanging out, or on expeditions across the peninsula and its coast.

Views from the lodge are unbelievable; the white curve of the sandy bay and the light lapping waters of the turquoise sea are so attractive. However swimming within the water or strolling alongside the sand right here is tempting an all-too-real destiny. Saltwater crocodiles, sharks and lethal irukandji jellyfish preside within the depths, so we follow the garden and the lodge’s divine rainforest pool.

Seven Spirit Bay Review - path to the lodge Seven Spirit Bay Review - the lounge room Seven Spirit Bay Review - local wallaby

You’re offered with this superb panorama as you come by means of the primary doorways into the doorway corridor, its vast doorways framing the surroundings completely. To the precise, alongside a timber-decked walkway is the library; a cool, quiet spot filled with comfortable sofas, maps, books and artefacts discovered across the property like crocodile skulls, shells and fossils.

To the left of the doorway are the lounge, bar and eating rooms.

The lounge is scattered with comfy lodge-style cane furnishings, polished picket flooring and a lofty white ceiling with sufficient followers to elevate the entire constructing. You can even assist your self to extra bug spray, sea illness tablets (there are a couple of boat rides concerned right here), rehydration salts, SPF, torches and different facilities to make your keep protected and enjoyable.

The bar is generously stocked and—like all of Journey Past’s venues—a part of your package deal. We skilled this wonderful perk once we lately travelled on the Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide and when stayed in a single day on the unimaginable ReefSleep, a large pontoon moored corals of the Nice Barrier Reef.

Seven Spirit Bay Review - dining area and planSeven Spirit Bay Review - the lodge pool Seven Spirit Bay Review - Christina in the pool

Much more beneficiant although are the meals, artfully expedited from a kitchen that reveals not a single signal of pressure from the apparent challenges of being so removed from the closest store.

Our First Night At Seven Spirit Bay Lodge

As soon as we’ve settled into our cabin, we head to the lodge for dinner. This night’s meal is about to happen on the garden looking over the bay.

Meals listed here are all communal, and we discover a seat at one of many tables, the place we’re launched to the group who’ve been travelling collectively on an epic 13-day journey proper throughout the highest of Arnhem Land.

This 13-day Arnhem Land Wilderness Journey with Outback Spirit begins with a flight from Cairns to Gove Airport in Nhulunbuy, a small city in north-eastern Arnhem Land. That is adopted by an all-inclusive overland exploration by means of a few of the most distant landscapes in Australia with the one tour firm with permissions to journey right here.

Outback Spirit additionally run the Seven Spirit Bay and Darwin Quick Break , which is what we’re doing: merely flying to and from Vashon Head on the Cobourg Peninsula.

Seven Spirit Bay Review - safari jeep Seven Spirit Bay Review - dangerous waters Seven Spirit Bay Review - lodge from the boat

The travellers on the Arnhem Land Wilderness Journey are solely a small group (the utmost measurement is 22 individuals) so with us there bringing the quantity as much as 19, we quickly get to know everybody.

Graham and Pam, Harriet and Jonas, Greg and Lynne, Margaret, Keith and his son Gary, Graham, Carol and Peter, Tony and Heather, Tess and Rod, and Christine all make us really feel like a part of the group, readily sharing their journey with us.

As we chat, the desk turns into evermore laden with delicacies from the kitchen. Tonight’s meal is a seemingly endless parade of cleverly crafted canapés.

It’s a type of bush omakase. Meals arrives and also you persuade your self to eat only one extra morsel earlier than you realise simply how full you’ve change into. We’re served dainties like duck confit and plum gel, Korean barbecue ribs, bacon cream and plum mud, a cheese platter and even a luxurious chocolate caramel tart for dessert.

Wine, dialog and laughter pour freely amongst us, and the night time passes swiftly till we make our method, sated and sleepy, to our room down the Yellow Brick Street.

Tomorrow, the actual enjoyable begins!

Seven Spirit Bay Review - Yellwo Brick Road Seven Spirit Bay Review - Christina and Jim

We travelled to Seven Spirit Bay as media company of Journey Past, however our experiences and opinions stay our personal.

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