Gapuwiyak – Arafura

Gapuwiyak Police Station is located in north-eastern Arnhem Land, adjacent to Lake Evella, 25 km south of the head of Buckingham Bay and about the same distance south-west of Arnhem Bay. Gapuwiyak is approximately 210km west south west of Nhulunbuy. The community is accessible by road or air. Road access is by 4wd only via a turn-off from the Central Arnhem road about 190 km from Nhulunbuy.

Welcome to Gapuwiyak police station
Click to View Images

General Policing

General duties involve highway traffic patrols targeting alcohol and illicit drugs coming into the community, remote area patrols, marine patrols, MVR work and community relations. Members are also involved in community engagements, police education and school attendance programs.

Court occurs once every three months.



The new Station, officially opened in July 2013, is a state of the art facility, boasting general policing offices, multi-function facility, secure and modern cell-block and a high tech communications capability.

The facility at Gapuwiyak also includes four fully self-contained Visiting Officers Quarters and four large 4 bedroom homes with large yards.

The large compound also has extensive shedding, communications tower and back-up generator power for the station and VOQ’s.



Gapuwiyak School caters for children from Pre-school to Year 12. There is schooling to year 12, however most Government employees tend to home school or have their children enrolled in boarding school.


The local Clinic is staffed by three full-time and two casual Registered Nurses. A Doctor from Monday to Friday and a Dentist visits once every two months. Care Flight services the area in cases of medical emergency.



Gapuwiyak was originally established in the late 1950s for the purpose of supplying timber for use by missions in the region. It became an outstation of Galiwinku, and grew larger and became permanently settled by 1968. Gapuwiyak is a traditional community with a strong ceremonial life.

There is an arts centre with a full time manager that sells the work of local artists worldwide. Artwork includes Pandanus weaving, paintings, bark paintings, didgeridoo and jewellery.



Gapuwiyak has a tropical climate with ‘wet and dry’ seasons. Temperatures in the wet range from 21 at night up to 38 degrees during the day with extreme humidity in the build-up period. In the dry season, conditions are more pleasant with temperatures ranging from 16 to 30 degrees.

Recreation Activities

•  Fishing 

•  Swimming

•  Hunting

•  Camping

At a glance

  • Permanent Police Station (1 x Remote Sergeant – 2 x Constable – 1 x ACPO – 1 x ALO)
  • NTES base with full road crash rescue trailer and vehicle
  • Gapuwiyak School - Pre School to Year 12
  • Well stocked ALPA store and takeaway
  • Mail delivered Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Sealed airstrip with regular flights to Darwin

  • Barge service once a fortnight

  • Fuel available

  • Local clinic