It’s true Wildman Wilderness Lodge has a huge variety of the best tours available in the outback, but when you have your own car, there is so much more you can add to your list. Here’s a couple of great ideas that are sure to be fun and a few tips to help you and your family along the way.
Starting close to the lodge, there’s Brian Creek Walk. A short 6 km from the lodge this little oasis is a close and easy option to stretch your legs.
For the adults Brian Creek is a great opportunity to see the vast differences between our landscapes and practice your photography skills in this shaded environment. Plenty of insects, butterflies and smaller critters are on view here. Don’t forget the magnificent Banyan trees, some of which are over 100 years old.
For the kids, grab a butterfly net and your bug catcher. This is a little explorers treat and not too hot either, because it’s perfectly shaded by plenty of trees. There is heaps to explore, so mums and dads, it’s time to get creative and set up an adventure and action list that will keep them engaged. Here’s a little kids activity Booklet we prepared earlier to get you started (PDF Download).
Just around the corner is a lovely little billabong with a great viewing deck. Mistake Billabong is a short drive after you turn left at the end of the dirt road. We’ve heard of sightings of wild buffalo, dingoes, plenty of birds and dragonflies skimming along the surface.
This is an easy to get to, photographers oasis that’s suitable for all ages. Park the car, walk in and take a drink and a snack. Sit quietly and enjoy the view as mother nature unravels the days festivities before you. There is no mistake about this billabong, it’s a real beauty.
This is where many a Territorian will spend their weekend, trying to catch the infamous Barramundi. A 30 minute drive from the lodge will get you there along a graded dirt road. There is a viewing deck where you can check out the goings on, but be sure not to get too close to the water, as there is sure to be a crocodile waiting for you. Shady camp is not only famous for its fish, but also its crocodiles and make no mistake, there are plenty lurking around there. In fact there are many a tale of fishermen who have been stalked by opportunistic crocs, waiting for an easy fish dinner.
If you are looking for a 4WD track there are 2 nearby, Wildman 4WD Track – which takes you to Mary River and Hardy’s 4WD Track which takes you to Hardies Lagoon, where you may want to try out some fishing. These tracks are generally shut down during the wet season and they are definitely for experienced 4WD drivers. These tracks are not suitable for rental cars. Maps and further details about these tracks can be downloaded here:
Take a drink and a snack
Adventuring out is easy and we always recommend you take your own water and a snack with you as there are not many places to stop nearby. If you need a snack or drink to take with you, speak with someone at reception as our restaurant is open from 7am – 8.30pm.
To get around download a free map prepared by Parks and Wildlife here: mary-river-national-park. The nearest stops for petrol outside of Wildman are Bark Hut on the way back to Darwin and South Alligator on the way to Jabiru/Kakadu.
The Mary River is a bird watchers heaven, in fact we have over 200 different species. If you are keen to find out what birds you can find here, check out the following link. The site also has a great app you can download onto your phone to help you identify the birds by the sound they make.
Getting about is mostly easy. The biggest challenge is the heat, which if you are not used to, can really knock you about. Tap water in Darwin is not only free, but great drinking and totally safe, so fill up and carry it with you.
Always wear a hat, as sunburn is a real threat. A few minutes, even on a cloudy day, in the Top End, can end up with red faces. Reflection off the water is particularly fierce, so if you are planning on a day out on the water, a hat is not enough, you will also need a high SPF sunscreen.
Whilst most Territorians consider thongs as a form of dress shoe, trekking shoes or sneakers is preferable in these parts. Many of the walking tracks are easy going graded dirt tracks, who knows what you may step on!
A MUST – bug spray as the Mozzies (short for Mosquitos) love the moist, cool conditions. We recommend Bushman’s.
We hope you have a fun day out with your family, and please check in with our reception desk if you are going on a hike or hitting an off road track. It’s always good to let us know your likely return time as mobile phones do not work out in these parts.
Still can’t decide, why not book one of ours and get inspired!