Head an hour out of the city and you’ll reach the luxury of Bamurru Plains, in the remote wilderness of the Mary River Floodplains. The lodge has a library, pool and lounging deck from where you can watch wildlife grazing through the camp while an expert chef cares for your culinary needs and food, drink (including fine wine) and touring is all-inclusive.
Nine safari bungalows are built on stilts above the floodplains and mesh screen ceiling-to-floor walls surround the bed on three sides so you can see and hear the wildlife and wilderness around you. The bungalows have spacious en-suites and the decor reflects the region’s pastoral history.
One of the best ways to view the area’s bird life is to take an airboat trip, or head out on a four wheel-drive safari to see wallabies, buffalo and wild horses. In the May to October dry season you can cruise the Sampan Creek and spot crocodiles basking in the sun.
The Northern Territory’s Top End is also home to Nitmiluk National Park, three hours’ drive south of Darwin. The main attraction is Nitmiluk itself, a sandstone gorge carved through by the Katherine River. The park is owned by the Jawoyn Aboriginal people, as is the spectacular Cicada Lodge, whose rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies and indigenous artwork.
From here, you can tour the region. You’ll find lush greenery and powerful waterfalls during the wet season (December to March), and a sunset dinner cruise in the dry, or fly to the heart of the Dreamtime land to view Jawoyn rock art.