The Mary River Wetlands Cruise


Rockhole Billabong

The Rockhole Billabong is part of the largest permanent wetland area of the Mary River system. It joins Corroborree Billabong and forms one of the most diverse ecosystems in Australia. It gained its name from a natural rock ledge and deepwater hole. The term billabong comes from an Aboriginal term meaning ‘always water’.

The Top End ‘wet season’ transforms the Mary River Wetlands into an inland sea and replenishes the earth after the long dry. Fish, crocodiles and birds breed and flourish. As the flood waters subside, the ‘dry season’ creates an awesome spectacle for people to view huge numbers of birds and large crocodiles. It is a wildlife observer’s paradise…

+ Sightings of the following birds & wildlife are common on the Mary River Wetlands Cruise:

White Breasted Sea Eagle
Australian Pratincole Brolga
Whistling kite
Rufous Night-heron Great Egret
Brahminy Kite
White-necked Heron Intermediate Egret
Black kite
Pied Heron Little Egret
Blue winged Kookaburra
Black Fronted Dotterel
Cattle Egret
Little Kingfisher
Black Flying Fox Magpie Goose
Azure Kingfisher
Little Red Flying Fox Comb Crested Jacana
Pied Butcher Bird
Native fish Royal spoon Bill
White Gaped Honeyeater
Dingo Straw Necked Ibis
Yellow Honeyeater
Brahman Cattle Galah
Blue Faced Honeyeater
Green Tree Trog Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
Rainbow Bee Eater
Wild pig Red Tailed Black Cockatoo
Whistling Duck
Water Buffalo Pelican
Pacific Black Duck
Agile Wallaby
Australian Bustard
Radjah Shelduck
Antilopine Wallaroo Australian Darter
Grey Teal
Various lizards Pied Cormorant
Glossy Ibis
Various snakes Hoary-headed Crebe
Black-winged Stilt
Wiskered Tern
Great Crested Crebe

Mary River National Park

Relax & enjoy the Mary River Wetlands aboard the 24 seaters ‘Azure I’ & ‘AzureII’ which depart the Rockhole for cruises along these unspoilt and captivating waterways. Many believe that the vast wetlands of the Mary River system are the most beautiful in the Top End.

You will experience the floodplains and paperbark forests which support breeding populations of Brolga, Egret, Jabiru, Sea eagle, Magpie geese and many more bird species .The Mary River Wetlands cruise is a must for all bird lovers. There are over 250 species of birds in the Mary River Region.

Spot saltwater crocodiles as well as fresh water crocodiles, wild buffalo & wallabies at the waters edge & plenty more wildlife as you cruise the wetlands.

The trained guides have tremendous knowledge of flora and fauna of this amazing area and will bring the experience to life for you… See why the Mary River Wetlands is fast becoming recognised as the best place to view wildlife in the Northern Territory.


Departure Times

Morning cruises

Duration: 1.5 hours

Time slots: 7.30am and 9.30am

Cost: $58 adult / $26 child (4 to 12 years)

Afternoon cruises

Duration: 2 hours

Time slot: 4.00pm

Cost: $68 adult / $26 child (4 to 12 years)

Private cruises

Private cruises are available, please contact the Lodge for pricing.



Note all cruise times are available daily. Operating time depends on demand.


Getting there.

The Rockhole is located 2 hours drive east of Darwin via the Arnhem Hwy, or 30 minutes drive from Point Stuart Wilderness Lodge. To reach the Rockhole requires driving on 18kms of unsealed road. This is a maintained gravel road. 2WD vehicles are alright to travel on this road.

Transfers are available from the Lodge. Fees apply and subject to availability.

Things to bring

  • Hat

  • Sunscreen

  • insect repellent

  • camera

  • raincoat in stormy weather.

Cold water available on board.