The Mary River area encompasses the Mary River National Park on the Arnhem Highway between Darwin and Kakadu National Park, and also includes the Adelaide River. Explorer John McDouall Stuart explored this area in the late 1800s and signed his name on a tree at the mouth of Mary River. Today a memorial marks the site of the tree.
Both the Adelaide and Mary Rivers are best known for their large populations of saltwater crocodiles, the undisputed stars of the popular boat cruises that operate in the area. The area is also a popular fishing destination, and offers some of the best barramundi fishing in the Northern Territory.
The Mary River wetlands are part of a network of northern coastal wetlands that link eight major rivers in the Top End. This network is a rare and ecologically fragile, and was been recently proclaimed a National Park. The Limilngan Wulna 'freshwater' Aboriginal people have made the Mary River region their home for thousands of years, and continue to live, hunt and practise their traditional culture here today.
The rich wetland environment is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including a multitude of migratory birds. The annual Bird Week attracts bird watchers from all over the world. Examples of species that can be observed include magpie geese, brolgas, white-bellied sea eagles, rufous owls and more. Accommodation options in the area range from air-conditioned cabins to caravan parks and campsites.
The calm waters of the Mary River are best enjoyed on a fishing trip or nature cruise. The Mary River is an angler's paradise, literally jumping with barramundi and other tropical estuarine species. Wildlife spotting cruises are a great way to enjoy the area's tranquil beauty, and diverse fauna such as crocodiles, buffalo, wild horses and migratory birds are frequently seen.
The area is renowned for its wide variety of bird life and the annual Bird Week, held at Mary River Park, attracts bird watchers from all over the world. Travellers come to view magpie geese, brolgas, white-bellied sea eagles, red-tailed black cockatoos, rufous owls and more.
Accommodation options in the area range from air-conditioned cabins to caravan parks and campsites. Corroboree Park Tavern, the Bark Hut Tourism Centre and the Point Stuart Wilderness Lodge are found along the Arnhem Highway. Mary River House Boats offer a unique accommodation option available for hire.
Destinations within Top End
|Other Top End Destinations|
|Bathurst Island||Berry Springs||Croker Island|
|Daly River||Dundee Beach||Goulburn Islands|
|Howard Springs||Humpty Doo||Noonamah|