The Mary River is home to some of the Northern Territory’s most beautiful wetlands. Located at the gateway to Kakadu, just an hour out of Darwin, Mary River offers a fantastic introduction to the famous World Heritage-listed region, away from the tourists. Join a wetland cruise or take a fishing trip to catch some local barramundi. Marvel at the birdlife or feel the adrenalin rise as you glide through crocodile country.
This vast wilderness area is home to more than 250 species of birds, including colourful migratory flocks and elegant brolgas and ibises, standing perfectly still amid picturesque lagoons and billabongs dotted with pink lotus lilies. Visitors can observe the panorama at the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve and learn more about the local wildlife at the Windows on the Wetland Visitor centre.
The region’s most famous attraction is the Jumping Crocodile Cruise, which has to be seen to be believed. Meandering slowly down the Adelaide River, it’s not long before you realise that beneath your boat are dozens and dozens of huge saltwater crocodiles. As if that isn’t frightening enough, the cruise includes a feeding that allows you to experience – from behind protective glass – the full-length glory of these magnificent and terrifying beasts as they jump out of the water and into the air right in front of you.
Other highlights unique to the region include water buffalo, monitor lizards, wallabies and exotic small birds, all thriving in the lush paperbark swamps of the tropical north. This all makes for great scenery as you enjoy recreational activities such as picnics, camping, bushwalking, four-wheel driving and fishing. Don’t miss the sunset from the camping area at Couzens Lookout. The Mary River region is easily accessible by car on a daytrip from Darwin or on the route to Kakadu National Park.
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