Drive to Wildman

Drive to Wildman
Mary River National Park, Australia

Mary River National Park, Australia


Today we are heading to the Wildman Safari Lodge in the Mary River National Park but have a late start as we have timed a Jumping Crocodile tour at 1.00 pm. We start the morning with breakfast at the Ducks Nuts Cafe then stock up on some ice, supplies and grog as we will be unable to buy alcohol in the National Parks.

We decide to visit the Darwin Museum and Art Gallery before leaving the city and see an excellent gallery depicting the devastation Cyclone Tracy left behind when it hit the city on Christmas eve of 1974.

We head off south on the Stuart Highway turning left onto the Arnhem Highway looking for the Pub at Humpty Doo. This place is infamous and serves a mean hamburger but we just top up our fluids with a morning beer. On the road again we head to The Windows on the Wetlands Information Centre which was worth a stop and commanded an excellent view across the wetlands and the Adelaide River. Next stop was the original Jumping Crocodiles and we purchased some tickets and downed a cold beer waiting for the 1.00 pm cruise. It did not disappoint and Deb got some great shots as 5 – 10 crocs jumped high out of the water after a dangling pork chop. The highlight of the cruise was a close encounter with ‘Agro’ a 4 metre giant and the biggest on the river.

Next stop the Bark Hut, a small outpost just outside of the Mary River National Park, we have another beer here and a long chat with the American barmaid then head to the Point Stuart turnoff and another 30 km to Wildman Lodge our accommodation for the night. We pull into the Lodge with a less than prompt welcome and eventually get shown to our ‘Habitat’ which is very swish but hot as hell. On goes the ‘aircon’ and out comes a nice cold Vodka and Orange filled with ice.

Deb decides to go for a swim and we have a cocktail in the air conditioned bar before heading back to our room for a shower and wait for sunset. At around 7.00 pm we head into dinner and enjoy a lovely 3 course meal and a nice bottle of red before retiring for the night.


Rod Muller