Book your Top End Adventure Here

The Wildlife & Wetland Region encompasses Mary River National Park, Adelaide River, Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve and Djukbinj National Park.

WildlifeandWetlandsRegion BodyImage cropped

Connection to country

The traditional owners of the Mary River area are the Wulwulam people. The river was named by John McDouall Stuart in 1862. He wrote in his diary 'Country burning all round. Lat 13°38'24". This branch I have named the Mary, in honour of Miss Mary Chambers'.

Nature abounds the vast wetlands of the Mary River, home to a vast variety of birdlife, some of the biggest barramundi and the largest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the world. Lagoons, canals and billabongs make up the waterways of the wetlands of the Mary River, which runs both north and south of the Arnhem Highway.

Mary River National Park incorporates many destinations worthy of exploration – Rockhole, Couzens Lookout, Brian Creek Monsoon Forest Walk, Jimmy Creek Monsoon Forest, Point Stuart Coastal Reserve, Shady Camp, Mistake Creek, Corroboree Billabong and Hardies 4WD Track.

Freedom to tour

Feel free to explore the region by 2WD, even on unsealed roads (if you are in a rental car check your conditions of hire as they might preclude you from doing this). During the early Top End Summer a four-wheel drive offers greater freedom to explore those less accessible areas before some of the roads close from the rains.

Book a fishing tour, or hire a boat or join a guided boat tour to explore Point Stuart, Shady Camp, Corroboree Billabong and Mary River. Airboat tours and helicopter scenic flights are also available in the Mary River region.

The Mary River is an angler’s dream – popular fishing spots include Shady Camp within the national park, as well as Corroboree Billabong to the west of the national park.

Adventure the way you want it

Adelaide River jumping crocodile cruises
Adelaide River off the Arnhem Highway.

Just an hour and 15-minute drive from Darwin towards Kakadu is the Adelaide River. Here, a number of operators offer jumping crocodile cruises providing the opportunity to get up and close to see the mighty prehistoric crocodile propel itself out of the water for an easy meal.

Corroboree Billabong
108km east of Darwin off the Arnhem Highway. Open April to December. Partly unsealed road.

Take a leisurely drive from Darwin to Corroboree Billabong, a popular fishing location. With water birds and woodland wildlife, along with crocodiles to keep you company whilst you fish, you will have a pretty good chance of catching that elusive ‘barra’ or saratoga. Be amazed as some of Australia’s largest saltwater crocodiles drift lazily past. The billabong is also home to wild buffalo and an abundance of birdlife.

Public access to a boat ramp is provided.

Rockhole Billabong

Rockhole, about two hours drive from Darwin, is another access point to the channels of the Mary River system, a hugely popular spot for barramundi fishing. Located off Point Stuart Road in the Mary River National Park, Rockhole is an excellent stepping-off point from which to enjoy a day's fishing or exploration of the tranquil surrounds. There is a boat ramp on site making easy access for those with their own boat, but for those who don't, the Mary River Wetlands Cruise departs from the Rockhole.

Corroboree Billabong
108km east of Darwin off the Arnhem Highway. Open April to December. Partly unsealed road.


In 1987 a barrage was constructed at Shady Camp on the Mary River to stop saltwater penetrating into the wetlands, the meeting of fresh and saltwater here offers some of the best barramundi fishing in the Top End. Mullet converge to feed on algae washed down by the stream of fresh water at the end of the wet with barramundi and other fish following to feed on the mullet.

Curious creatures and wildlife

Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve
Located 66km east of Darwin on Arnhem Highway

These wetlands are an amazing haven for the Top End’s wildlife right on Darwin’s doorstep. Like Kakadu, this reserve is enriched by the continued connection held by its Wulna Traditional Owners.

Djukbinj National Park
Located 80km east of Darwin along the Arnhem Highway near Leaning Tree Lagoon turnoff. Open daily (seasonal). 4WD only.

Part of the Marrakai Plains, Djukbinj National Park contains a portion of the catchment area and drainage for the Adelaide River. Consequently, the abundance of water year-round assures the park’s importance as a favourite feeding and roosting site for a wide variety of water birds including magpie geese, egrets, jabiru and brolgas.

Mary River National Park
Located 150km east of Darwin along the Arnhem Highway.

The wide expanse of the Mary River National Park protects part of the Mary River catchment, where floodplains, billabongs, woodlands, paperbark and monsoon forest provide visitors with excellent opportunities for observing wildlife, fishing, four-wheel driving, bushwalking, camping and photography. A drive along Point Stuart Road offers the opportunity to experience the exceptional views of the Mary River system from Couzens Lookout, Brian Creek Monsoon Forest, Jimmy’s Creek Monsoon Forest, Point Stuart Coastal Reserve and Mistake Billabong, which are easily accessible.





Start Planning Your Stay in the Wildlife & Wetlands Region

Receive Monthly Deals, News and Events!

Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive all of the above and more

Choose to Book with the Top End's Local Experts

Need a hand choosing or booking your Top End Adventure?