Mary River National Park


Mary River from Couzens Lookout

Mary River from Couzens Lookout

The Mary River National Park consists of a collection of small reserve areas which protects part of the Mary River catchment. The Mary River is one of eight rivers in the Top End which have large floodplains in their catchments. The Arnhem Highway crosses five of these eight rivers as you travel between Darwin and Jabiru.

Mary River National Park Draft Joint Management Plan

The Territory Government, in partnership with Traditional Owners, are preparing a new draft Joint Management Plan for Mary River National Park 100 km east of Darwin, Australia.

Joint Management Plans provide direction for the future management of a park, and outline how the interests of the community, Traditional Owners and conservation will be served.

How to Get There

This Park is located 150 km east of Darwin along the Arnhem Highway.

In the Dry Season, from May to September, most areas are accessible to all vehicles, however many roads are unsealed. During the Wet Season, from October to April, flooding can cause road closures.

When to Visit

Commercial tours and accommodation are available all year round. The most comfortable time to visit is during the Dry Season, from May to September.

What to See and Do

Freshwater billabongs, paperbark and monsoon forests provide visitors with excellent opportunities for wildlife watching, fishing, bushwalking and photography.

Visitor Facilities

This Park has many opportunities and places for camping, picnicking, walking, and facilities such as toilets, boat ramps, information and historical markers and commercial accommodation.

  • Pets are not permitted in this Park
  • Observe all fishing and boating regulations
  • Observe Crocodile warning signs.

Fact Sheet

Recreational Activities

The Mary River Crossing on the Arnhem Highway 3 km west of the Bark Hut Inn has picnic areas, toilets and a boat ramp to make this an ideal site to access the Mary River system. Camping is not permitted at the Mary River Crossing.

Rockhole is another popular access point to the waterways of the Mary River. A boat ramp and picnic facilities are located here, where Barramundi fishing is popular.

Couzen's Lookout camping area offers secluded camping beside the Mary River. It is only a short walk to the lookout where the sunsets are stunning.

Brian Creek Monsoon Forest is a patch of diverse monsoon forest that contrasts strongly with the surorunding woodlands. This is easily accessible.

Shady Camp is a popular fishing spot with boat ramps, picnic areas and toilets. A viewing platform offers excellent views of the river and its many crocodiles upstream. A barrage helps prevent saltwater entering the freshwater wetlands. Camping is permitted and fees apply.

Mistake Billabong has a shaded viewing platform where visitors can watch life on the billabong.

Point Stuart is the historic location where John McDouall Stuart's exploring expedition reached the sea in 1862 after riding over 2,000 miles north to traverse the continent. It's open during the drier months of the year.

Other facilities and features of the Park include:

  • 4 x 4 Driving - opportunities are available to explore the interior of this great Park. The Hardies 4WD Track (pdf 619Mb) is accessible from the Arnhem Highway, about 5 km west of the Mary River, or from the Rockhole Road. The Wildman 4WD Track (pdf 633Mb) links the Rockhole and Wildman Roads. You can start at either end of these tracks and explore the wetlands.
  • Accommodation
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boat Tours
  • Camping Permitted
  • Caravans Permitted
  • Picnic Tables
  • Walking Tracks

Park Sites Access Comments Forecast Opening
Mary River National Park Open
Bird Billabong Walking Track Closed closed for the duration of the wet season Edit
Brian's Creek Walk Open Edit
Hardies 4WD Track Closed Please note: access on and off Hardies 4WD track is via Bird Billabong - access via Rockhole Road no longer possible. Edit
Jimmy's Creek Walk Closed closed until the end of February Edit
Mistake Billabong Open Edit
Couzens Rockhole/Lookout Closed closed for the duration of the wet season Edit
Wildman 4WD Track Closed Closed for the duration of the wet season Edit
Shady Camp campsite Open Edit
Rockhole Road Closed Closed for the duration of the wet season Edit
Point Stuart Coastal Reserve Walking Track Closed closed for the duration of the wet season Edit