On the way to Kakadu you pass the Mary River NP and we camped at the ‘Mary River Wilderness Retreat’, which is right on the river and a nice place to stay. It was relatively busy with some family groups that come out from Darwin and camp for the weekend. It’s only about 90 minutes from Darwin, and we had another wedding to watch.
While here, we went on a wetland lunch tour on the Cooroboorree Billabong. The bird-life was pretty good, even for being early in the dry season, as we saw quite a few different types (see the photos). They say the best time is at the end of the dry (August) when the floodplains have dried out and the birds move closer to the deeper billabongs. We also missed the Lotus’ flowering, but Susan managed to get some photos of the few that were out early. We got close to our first ‘salty’ as well.
We took a drive out to ‘Shady Camp’, where my parents had camped 27 years ago. It’s where the salt water meets the fresh water with a man-made barrage separates them. The barrages used to be a natural part of the river system, but the Buffalo that were introduce destroyed most of them, causing large amounts of freshwater vegetation too dye off.
Next stop is Yellow Waters (now known as Cooinda).
Did you know … #16?
The Mary River is only 150 kms long and only flows during the wet season. As it drys large amounts of water are contained in Billabongs, the largest being Cooroborree, and it is over 40 kms in length!
Mary River NP