Banubanu Beach Retreat
BANUBANU BEACH RETREAT
BREMER ISLAND, NORTHERN TERRITORY • ECO RETREAT • SLEEPS 12 | 6 ROOMS | 6 BATH
Banubanu Beach Retreat is about as remote as it gets. Located on Bremer Island, a tiny island in the Arafura Sea in East Arnhem Land, this is simple, remote luxury at its finest.
Banubanu offers the simple pleasures of space and time and an escape from the modern world.
Bremer Island is a quick 15min flight from Gove Airport across the pristine waters off Nhulunbuy, or a 45min fast boat ride away from the Gove Harbour. Renowned for its natural beaches, abundant sea life, rich Yolgnu culture and lush tropical surrounds, East Arnhem Land is an intoxicating place to visit. Bremer Island is no different. Banubanu sits on Aboriginal land that belongs to the local Yolgnu clan of East Arnhem Land.
Banubanu offers an eco-sensitive beach retreat built in partnership with the local Yolgnu people to ensure guests can experience the natural wonders and the culture of East Arnhem Land from this tranquil location. The facilities are intentionally simple so that guests can appreciate the beach living and being close to nature.
Guests can choose between five Deluxe Beachfront Bungalows or an elevated Penthouse Bungalow, each of which offer stellar views over the Arafura Sea. Each of the bungalows are fan-cooled and come with ensuites and a beachfront deck. There is also a great little restaurant and bar - Seabreeze - that serves locally caught seafood and freshly grown herbs, as well as delicious cocktails.
The name Banubanu was given to the large rocky outcrops at Banubanu Beach Retreat by Maccassan traders well before European colonisation. Banu is the Persian name for a woman, and Banubanu means women which these large boulders represent.
Why I love it
I love everything about Banubanu. I love its remoteness. I love the truly idyllic beach setting. I love feeling a closer connection to the Yolgnu culture. Helen and Trevor are lovely hosts, and the rest of the staff are great as well. I love their commitment to sustainable living. Banubanu is an eco-friendly retreat, running on 100% solar power, and the main water supply is bore water with an ethos for water-wise usage.
Most importantly, I love that you can swim!! Unlike anywhere else in the NT and especially anywhere else I went in East Arnhem Land, the waters here are (supposedly) croc-safe and ok to swim in. We made of the most of it while we could, enjoying a number of dips each day.
Arnhem Land and the Top End has a very tropical climate. The Wet season runs from November until April. Many people like visiting at this time to see the landscape turn a lush green colour, and to witness the spectacular lightning shows by night. I prefer the Dry season, which runs from May until October, for its warm, dry, sunny days and cooler evenings. I recommend visiting Banubanu at this time.
About the owners
Trevor and his wife Helen discovered Bremer Island while operating a fishing charter business in Gove. Banubanu was established back in 2005. Helen and Trevor have spent the last 17 years building Banubanu to what you see today. They want people to experience all that East Arnhem Land has to offer including its pristine beaches and beautiful sunsets. They love sharing the history of Bremer Island dating back to the early days of the Maccassans visiting Arnhem Land and when Matthew Flinders first came to the area in 1803.
Banubanu is located on Aboriginal land that belongs to the local Yolgnu clan of East Arnhem Land. The traditional owners have given Helen and Trevor permission to operate Banubanu on Bremer Island. Visitors pay a permit fee when visiting Banubanu which is paid to the traditional owners.
What to do nearby
Healing Ceremony with the local Yolgnu people
Island walking trails
Fishing Charter with Nomad Fishing Tours
What to bring