We must be totally honest. We had never heard of Mary River National Park. You hear and know about all of the ‘iconic’ locations in the Northern Territory’s Top End, but nestled between Kakadu and Darwin, Mary River National Park is a pretty special place. Only an hour ‘up the road’ from Darwin, you could drive through this region and not really know it was there. Glimpses of billabongs on the side of the road or a bridge over the mighty Mary River are the only hints as to what lays on either side of the Arnhem Highway. But if you stop here for a few days and take the time to explore, there is so much to discover in this national park.
Kicking Off Series 5 in Stunning Mary River National Park
We based ourselves at the Mary River Wilderness Retreat, a beautiful caravan/camping park on the banks of the river, with some pretty great cabin accommodation and a bistro to boot. Not to mention the friendliest owners in the world! Only a few metres from our caravan site, we boarded the ‘Tom Tough’ on the Mary River and met our boat guide Brian for our first adventure. We were going out to meet ‘the locals’, meaning the rivers huge population of crocodiles.
We are told the Mary River has one of the highest concentrations of crocodiles in the world. Once we started seeing them on the banks of the river and sliding into the water, we really felt like we were cruising on top of crocodile soup. Exciting but unnerving. These creatures are up to 6 metres in length and are opportunists. We were hoping we didn’t look like an opportunity…
The sun set on the river as we exchanged stories with Brian who has been in the Top End for years. Then, it was time to head back to the caravan for a barbecue. We can now attest that one of the greatest inventions ever is the integrated barbeque on the outside of the Jayco camper trailer!
You can read more updates on our travels on the Places We Go Blog!