The Northern Territory is home to the highest number of waterbirds in Australia as well as some of the most beautiful and rare bird species. The aptly-named Bird Billabong is located in the Mary River National Park between the Mount Bundy Hills and the Mary River channel, and is teeming with just some of them.
Take the pleasant 2 kilometre stroll to the billabong through scenic surroundings. Stand on the viewing platform at the water’s edge a while, it’s designed to give panoramic views over the billabong, which is a permanent fresh water swamp surrounded by paperbark forests. Bring your camera – there’s so much to see – Magpie geese, ducks, jabirus, herons, ibis and other waterbirds are known to frequent the landlocked billabong. Many species such as Radjah Shelducks breed in the billabong as waters recede on the wetlands. The shallow depth of the billabong results in vast changes to the area between seasons, from fully flooded (February/March) to parched dry (usually by October).
The Mary River is one of eight rivers in the Top End that have large floodplains in their catchments. The Arnhem Highway crosses five of these eight rivers as you travel between Darwin and Jabiru.