Shady Camp

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Observe Mary River's abundant wildlife, including saltwater crocodiles, from the viewing platform, or take a boat out into the river for fishing fun.

Shady Camp is a popular spot for anglers setting off onto the lower reaches of the Mary River. Located in Mary River National Park, the famous Shady Camp is located approximately 200km from Darwin and takes around 2 hours travelling by road when towing a boat, approximately 1 hour 40 minutes by car (4WD only during the wet), the area is a picturesque area surrounded by fresh water billabongs and paperbark and monsoon forests.

Most NT rivers average five crocodiles per kilometre, but in the Mary River that number climbs to nearly 15 saltwater crocodiles per kilometre. Climb the viewing platform at Shady Camp to look across the Mary River floodplain upstream and you are bound to spot a croc, as well as the area's other abundant wildlife. Bring your fishing gear during the 'run-off' between March-April each year, when the Mary River is teeming with the legendary barramundi. Birdwatchers can spend time exploring the different habitats provided by a barrage, which helps prevent saltwater crocs entering the freshwater wetlands.

Camping is permitted and fees apply. Shady Camp is well equipped with boat ramps, picnic areas and toilets. The Mary River National Park has many opportunities for picnicking, walking, and four-wheel driving and camping adventures, and offers expert fishing charters and guided birdwatching tours. Commercial accommodation is also available.

Opening times:

  • Open daily, 24 hours. Possible closures during the Tropical Summer, between November and April, due to high water levels.


  • Camping
  • Fishing - Estuary
  • Animal Viewing


  • BBQ Facilities
  • Car park
  • Picnic Area
  • Public Toilet
  • Viewing Platform

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