The Mary River area encompasses the Mary River National Park and Djukbinj National Park on the Arnhem Highway between Darwin and Kakadu National Park. Explorer John McDouall Stuart explored this area in the early 1860s and signed his name on a tree at the mouth of Mary River. Today, a memorial marks the site of the tree. Both the AdelaideRiver and Mary River are best known for their large populations of saltwater crocodiles, the undisputed stars of popular boat cruises that operate in the area. The area is also a popular fishing destination and offers some of the best barramundi fishing in the Northern Territory.
The Mary River wetlands are part of a network of northern coastal wetlands that link eight major rivers in the Top End. This network is rare, fragile and ecologically important and some areas have been listed as of international importance. The Limilngan Wulna ‘freshwater’ Aboriginal people have made the Mary River region their home for thousands of years and continue to live, hunt and practise their traditional culture here today.
The rich wetland environment is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including a multitude of migratory birds. Examples of species that can be observed include magpie geese, brolgas, white-bellied sea eagles, rufous owls and more. Accommodation options in the area range from airconditioned cabins to caravan parks and campsites.