Mary River National Park

Mary River National Park has an interesting mix of barramundi fishing, pretty landscapes and fascinating history, with good birdlife, saltwater crocodiles and paperbark-fringed swamps, too.

Bird Billabong, just off the Arnhem Hwy a few kilometres before Mary River Crossing, if you're coming from the west, is a back-flow billabong, filled by creeks flowing off the nearby Mt Bundy Hill during the Wet. It's 4km off the highway and accessible by 2WD year-round. The scenic loop walk (4.5km, two hours) passes through tropical woodlands, with a backdrop of Mt Bundy granite rocks.

About another 2km along the same road is the emerald-green Mary River Billabong, with a BBQ area (no camping). From here the 4WD-only Hardies Track leads deeper into the national park to Corroboree Billabong (25km) and Couzens Lookout (37km); the sunsets are especially pretty from Couzens Lookout, where there's a campground.

Further east and north of the Arnhem Hwy, the partly sealed Point Stuart Rd leads to a number of riverside viewing platforms and to Shady Camp. The causeway barrage here, which stops fresh water flowing into saltwater, creates the ideal feeding environment for barramundi, and the ideal fishing environment.

In the park's northern reaches, devotees of explorer history will not want to miss the 6km-return walk in Point Stuart Coastal Reserve out to Stuart's Memorial Cairn – it marks the northernmost point reached by John McDouall Stuart in 1862.