The Gove Peninsula is at the northeastern corner of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. The peninsula became strategically important during World War II when an airforce base was constructed at what is now Gove Airport. The peninsula was named after Pilot Officer William Gove, who was killed in action in 1943.
The economy of the Gove Peninsula is centred on the Alcan Gove Mine and Refinery which is located of leasehold land within the boundaries of Aboriginal freehold land. This the Aboriginal traditional owners are Alcan Gove’s landlords. Therefore Alcan Gove are obligated to sustain a close relationship with the traditional owners both in the township and the surrounding communities.
Gove Harbour is a popular stop off point for yachts sailing the northern coast of Australia or heading to the countries to the north of Australia and beyond. Apart from the months of December to April when cyclones can affect the coast line, the waters surrounding the Gove Peninsula provide excellent sailing conditions. The Gove Sailing Club is often packed full of visiting yachties from all over the world and the club often holds regattas and other annual events.
Fishing on and around the Gove Peninsula is perhaps the most popular recreational pursuit of locals and travellers alike. There is some of the best tropical reef and sport fishing in the world in the virtually untouched seas surrounding Nhulunbuy. There are numerous well established fishing tour operators than run full day and extended tours from both Nhulunbuy as well as a number of fishing clubs in the region that organise renowned fishing competitions through out the year. Anglers have the chance of hooking up one of more than 30 fish species, including red emperor, coral trout and golden snapper, Spanish mackerel, giant trevally and, in the billabongs, the prized barramundi.
Diving the colourful and rich coral reefs in the clear waters offshore from Gove is becoming more and more popular. There is drift, deep and multi-level diving available and many reefs and offshore islands to explore. It is recommended to dive in company of an experienced dive charter operator to ensure safety in these remote tropical waters. There are two reputable dive companies in Nhulunbuy who offer dive tours and short courses.