Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre is perched on Beatrice Hill, one of the highest points on the Adelaide River floodplain.
Beatrice Hill was named on 6 June 1864, by Naval officers Hutchinson and Howard while surveying the Adelaide River on board the HMS Beatrice.
Travel approximately 60km from Darwin along the Stuart and Arnhem Highways. You'll easily see the upswept line of the Visitors Centre roof, which reflects the contours of the hills in the area.
There is a steep walk from the car park to the entrance of the Visitor Centre. However, a drop-off area is provided for less able passengers.
Entry is free, and the Visitor Centre is open every day from 8.00am to 7.00pm.
A visit to Window on the Wetlands can be combined with visits to nearby Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve and the Mary River National Park (proposed).
The Adelaide River is one of eight rivers in the Top End which have large floodplains in their catchments. Together, their floodplains create a great expanse of coastal wetlands, one of the rarest and most threatened land systems in the world.
They are collectively known as the northern coastal wetlands. The Arnhem Highway takes you across five of the eight rivers as you travel between Darwin and Jabiru.
The catchments of these rivers are not separate from one another, especially those east of Darwin. Their lower reaches almost join up in the wet season.
Large native animals such as wallabies move between the catchments. Unfortunately so do weeds and feral animals, like pigs and buffalo.
Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre has toilet and picnic facilities with ample parking.
- Beware of theft, lock vehicles and secure valuables.
- All cultural items and wildlife are protected.
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- Picnic Tables
The Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre provides an introduction to the northern coastal wetlands. Details of places to visit, tours and accommodation are available from the Parks and Wildlife staff on duty. There are also interactive displays about the ecological processes that occur in the wetlands, seasonal changes and the problems of feral animals and weeds. Touchscreen computers help you find detailed information on wildlife and on local Aboriginal and European history. From the top floor of the Visitor Centre you can enjoy the suburb views across the floodplains, especially during the early morning or late afternoon. In the wet season you can see the flooded wetlands and if you are lucky, spectacular lightning storms.
The Limilngan-Wulna people speak for this land and call Beatrice Hill Ludawei. The three hills represent Turtle Dreaming called Lulak. This site is an important part of local Aboriginal culture.