Mary River National Park

Anyone who's headed to the Northern Territory (NT) to catch a barramundi has heard of Shady Camp in Mary River National Park. 

Apart from spectacular fishing, Mary River is popular for four-wheel driving, bushwalking and birdwatching. 

It's a must-see park for any nature lover.

Photographers can get great wildlife and landscape shots with an abundance of native birdlife and saltwater crocodiles against a backdrop of paperbark swamp and lotus lilies.

Make sure you visit Couzen's Lookout, particularly at sunset, for a stunning view. 

The park has places for camping, picnicking and walking. 

If you are interested in explorer history, don't miss the 6km walk in Point Stuart Coastal Reserve out to Stuart's Memorial Cairn. 

Be Crocwise as there is a large population of saltwater crocodiles throughout the park, particularly at Shady Camp.

Bring plenty of protective clothing and insect repellent.

Get the Mary River National Park fact sheet and map (676.8 kb).

Get the Point Stuart Coastal Reserve fact sheet and map (866.5 kb).

Mary River National Park Mary River National Park Mary River National Park - Lotus lilies

What to see and do

You can do all of the following activities in the park:

  • boating
  • fishing
  • birdwatching
  • wildlife watching
  • photography
  • historic sites / memorials
  • scenic lookouts
  • walking tracks
  • four-wheel driving
  • camping permitted in designated camping areas
  • caravans permitted in designated campsites
  • accommodation.

Four-wheel driving

Mary River has plenty of tracks for the four wheel drive enthusiast. 

Get the map and guide for the Hardies 4WD Track (564.5 kb).

Get the map and guide for the Wildman 4WD Track (677.6 kb).

Boat access

You can launch your boat at any of the following areas:

  • Mary River Crossing - boat ramp off Arnhem Highway, all season access
  • Mary River Billabong - land-based fishing access via the Bird Billabong / Hardies access road, seasonal access only
  • Hardies Crossing - land-based fishing access via Hardies 4WD track, seasonal access only
  • Corroboree Billabong - boat access via Hardies 4WD track, seasonal access only
  • Rockhole - boat ramp access via Rockhole Road, seasonal access only
  • Shady Camp - access to Mary River saltwater side to Chambers Bay and Van Dieman Gulf via Sampan Creek
  • Stuart’s Tree Fishing Camp is a private area and charges apply - for access phone Terry Halse (08) 8978 8863 or (08) 8983 1223.

Where to stay

You can camp at Couzen's Lookout Camping Area and Shady Camp.

There is also accommodation within and near the park.

How to get there

Travel 150km east of Darwin along the Stuart and Arnhem Highways. 

Enter the park through Bird Billabong or Point Stuart Road.

Check if this park is open

Find out if the Mary River National Park is open.

Opening hours

Some seasonal closures during the Wet Season between November and April. Many roads are unsealed. 


Phone: (08) 8978 8986


Mary River National Park has all of the following facilities:

  • information signs
  • ranger station – for emergency contact only
  • 4WD roads
  • fire pits
  • public toilets
  • picnic area
  • camping
  • accommodation
  • boat ramp.

Please remember

When visiting the park, remember all of the following:

  • put your rubbish in the bin or take it with you
  • stay on designated tracks and roads
  • all cultural items and wildlife are protected
  • pets are not permitted in the park
  • nets, traps and firearms are not permitted
  • be careful with fire and light fires only in fireplaces provided
  • camp only in designated camping areas
  • wash away from water courses
  • collect firewood before arriving at your picnic or campsite
  • collect fallen timber only
  • follow all fishing and boating laws
  • check that your vehicle is not transporting pests like weeds and cane toads.


You can have a safe and comfortable trip to Mary River National Park by doing all of the following:

  • observe park safety signs
  • observe crocodile warning signs
  • carry and drink plenty of water
  • wear a shady hat, sunscreen and insect repellent
  • wear suitable clothing and footwear
  • carry a first aid kit
  • avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day
  • make sure your boat and vehicle are well-maintained and equipped
  • beware of theft, lock vehicles and secure valuables.

Last updated: 22 April 2016