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 Couzens 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 PDF (1.0 MB).

Get the Point Stuart Coastal Reserve fact sheet and map PDF (3.6 MB).

Find out about camping in parks and reserves.

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

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For more information about site access, phone 08 8978 8986.

Park sitesStatusComments Forecast opening
Mary River National Park Open   -
Mary River Billabong Open  
Bird Billabong Day Use Area Open  -
Bird Billabong Walking Track Open -
Brian's Creek Monsoon Forest Walk Open  -
Hardies 4WD Track Partially OpenLoop track between Clarks Crossing and Corroboree Billabong remains closed 
Jimmy's Creek Monsoon Forest Walk Open -
Mistake Billabong Open   -
Rockhole Road Open -
Couzens Lookout and Campground Open -
North (Wildman) Rockhole Open  -
Wildman 4WD Track ClosedwildfireAnticipated re-opening  16 August 2022
Shady Camp Campground Open   -
Shady Camp crocodile viewing platform Open  
Point Stuart Coastal Reserve Closed Road worksAnticipated re-opening September 2022 due to road works.
Point Stuart Coastal Reserve Walking Track  Closed  Anticipated re-opening September 2022 due to road works.
Stuarts Tree walking track Closed Road worksAnticipated re-opening September 2022 due to road works.

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

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

Enter the park through Bird Billabong or Point Stuart Road.

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.

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

Get the map and guide for the Hardies 4WD Track PDF (1.3 MB).

Get the map and guide for the Wildman 4WD Track PDF (1.2 MB).

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.

You can camp at Couzens Lookout Camping Area and Shady Camp.

There is also accommodation in and near the park.

Find out more about places to stay on the Tourism NT website.

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.

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
  • use free interactive park maps on your mobile phone or tablet.

Phone: 08 8978 8986


Last updated: 07 June 2022

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