Places to go, Darwin & Surrounds, Northern Territory, Australia

Mary River

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Explore the lush Mary River wetlands, a thriving microcosm of Top End wildlife, birds and fish. Located about an hour east of Darwin it is a good place to stop on your way to Kakadu National Park or for a day trip from the city.

Abundant birdlife

Visit Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve in the dry season to see some of the 250 species of birds that flock to the concentrated water supply. Jabiru, jacana, pygmy geese, brolga and ibis are regularly spotted feeding among pink Lotus lilies. Take cover and observe colourful migratory birds from a bird hide at a tranquil billabong.

Wetlands explained

Browse the fantastic interactive displays of Top End birds and animals at the Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre. The centre is perched high above the floodplains with panoramic views of the wetlands below.

Wildlife-spotting adventure

Stop where the Adelaide River crosses the Arnhem highway to join a cruise and see jumping crocodiles – huge saltwater crocs that rise from the water to grab the bait dangling from the riverboat.

Board a cruise of one of the wetlands' billabongs to see this very busy and beautiful landscape from the water. Spot saltwater crocodiles among paperbark forests, introduced animals such as buffalo, wildlife including monitors and wallabies and the exotic birds that flourish in this rich ecosystem.

World-class fishing

Join a fishing charter to land the Top End's most famous sports fish. The barramundi is plentiful in the Mary River wetlands. Anglers come from all over the world to fish for the famous barra at places like Shady Camp, Corroboree Billabong and the Adelaide River. Fish up to 1.4m in size are landed each year.

There are many ways to experience NT fishing – stay in a fishing lodge and benefit from the knowledge and expertise of local guides, join a fishing day tour from Darwin or hire a boat and drive yourself.

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