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Kakadu National Park and Mary River National Park

Having backpacked Kakadu National Park in 2006 as one is the most unique holidays, we always wanted to go back but this time a lighter but luxury version since we have an almost 3 year old in tow.

We took an evening/late afternoon flight from Singapore and 4 hours later around midnight we arrived in Darwin. With the short flight time Darwin is easy accessible from Singapore.

We spend the first night at an airport hotel.

Next morning we went to hire a car and drive towards Kakadu National Park. Importantly we did a pit stop at Coles/Woolworth in Coolalinga (30 minutes’ drive from the airport) to buy water and snacks since the options in Kakadu National Park are limited.

First stop was at Bowali Visitor Centre to buy park passes, which is a must in order to visit sights in Kakadu National Park. For our night in Kakadu National Park we checked in at Mercure Crocodiles Hotel in Jabiru. The only actual hotel in Kakadu National Park.

Before dinner we had time to go and experience the Cahills Crossing and see the 6:30 pm sunset from the top of Ubirr.

Cahills Crossing


Next morning after breakfast we drove to the Nourlangie area. First we did the 2.5 km walk around Anbangbang Billabong. Hereafter we went to see the Nanguluwurr art sites and the Kunwarddewardde lookout. And not to be missed we went to the Nawurlandja look out (also a sunset spot).

Kunwarddewardde lookout

Nawurlandja look out

Hereafter we drove towards Drawing to stop in Mary River National Park where we had booked ourselves into Wildman Wilderness Lodge.

Wildman Wilderness Lodge was the highlight of our trip. One of the most unique accommodation we have ever stayed at. We had the privilege to stay in a luxury safari tent (can accommodate 2 adults and 3 children in bunk beds). Living in Singapore it is unique to up to the sounds of birds and direct view to the wallabies eating breakfast on the grounds in front of our “tent”. Our almost 3 year old loved waking up and watch the wallabies.

Morning view

The accommodation comes with breakfast and a very nice three course dinner (3 options to choose between). The kitchen was very accommodating to fit our almost 3 year old’s needs and making something off the children’s menu. Every evening they lit the open fireplace and here drinks can be enjoyed together with the sunset.

During our stay at Wildman Wilderness Lodge we went on a 7 am Home Billabong Cruise where we saw the beautiful scenery in the magnificent morning light, crocodiles and bird life.

Furthermore we went on the Mary River Rockhole Cruise where we saw even more crocodiles and birds and we told interesting information about the area. This part of Northern Australia has the largest concentration of estuarine crocodiles and water buffalo.


We really wanted to book and airboat tour on the Corroboree billabong but they only take children older than 4 years old.

Despite being in Kakadu National Park during the very warm season it got pretty chilly at night sleeping in the safari tent and a sweater is convenient to bring for the cold morning.

There are so much more to explore in Kakadu National Park i.e. waterfalls, but extensive driving is required, but since we prioritized nice accommodation we ended up in Mary River National Park.

4 nights in National Parks have come to an end and after a short pit stop in Darwin we were ready to head back to Singapore.

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