Recreation Permit

Note: Due to Covid-19 access to Aboriginal land for recreation purposes is temporarily restricted. The new Visitor Permit is available for those requiring access on compassionate grounds. 

As a result, permit applications for recreation are not available online at the moment. For special circumstances, please download the permit application pack. Once completed, submit the pack via the contact centre or via email at permits@nlc.org.au.

Please note the below information is only relevant once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted

You may apply for a Recreation Permit to access recreation areas on Aboriginal land for recreation purposes.

Traditional Owners have identified a number of recreation areas on Aboriginal land. Each site has rules on visitor numbers and the length of stay. Some sites allow activities, such as camping. Permit holders can access private roads during the specific dates listed on their permit. Stopping is only permitted in certain locations along transit routes. If staying overnight in a community, applicants must provide accommodation details.

Who can apply?

  • Anyone wanting to camp at designated recreation sites on Aboriginal land
  • Anyone wanting to go fishing on non-tidal waters on Aboriginal Land
  • Anyone wanting to use a private road on Aboriginal land for recreational purposes
  • Anyone visiting an art centre or other recreational attractions on Aboriginal land
  • Anyone who holds a Work or Residential Permit and wants to carry out recreational activities on Aboriginal land outside work commitments
  • Anyone who holds a Transit Permit and wants to carry out recreational activities on Aboriginal land
  • Anyone who holds a Visitor Permit and wants to carry out recreational activities on Aboriginal land outside the Aboriginal community specified in their Visitor Permit

How to apply?

You can now manage your permits online. We encourage you to register for the NLC permit system. This will make your permit process faster and more efficient. To apply for an NLC permit:

For guidelines on how to use the Permit Administration System (PAS) see: How to use PAS.

Application process

Your application for a NLC permit must specify the purpose of your visit, the dates, places and access routes, and your vehicles, passengers and accommodation. The NLC will consider your application and seek approval from relevant traditional Aboriginal owners. Please allow up to 10 days for processing and contact us about access restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Permit contact centre

If you have any questions about the system or the application process, please use our contact centre to record your query and an NLC staff member will get in touch as soon as possible. You can use the contact centre without being logged-in. Otherwise email us at permits@nlc.org.au, call 1800 645 299 or contact an NLC Regional Office.

Entry without a permit

Unauthorised entry could result in a fine of 10 penalty units (currently $2,220) under Commonwealth law or 8 penalty units (currently $1,264) under Northern Territory law. The acceptance of insurance claims on Aboriginal land may rely on a valid permit.