Kakadu National Park

The Mary River region is home to rugged stone country, vast wetlands, stunning waterfalls and the Jawoyn people.

Plunge pools and waterfalls

Boasting an array of plunge pools and cascades, the Mary River region has some of Kakadu’s most picturesque swimming locations.

The most famous swimming spot is perched above Gunlom Falls, where an incredible natural infinity pool promises an idyllic dip.

Maguk is another popular swimming location. A short walk takes you through a monsoon forest to a beautiful waterfall and crystal-clear plunge pool.

Download the guide to the Gunlom area

Walks, wildlife and scenery

The Mary River region is known for its beautiful walks. Many of the easiest tracks wind through lush forests to sparkling cascades and sandy beaches. The area is also home to many plants and bird species found only in southern Kakadu.

Mary River’s more challenging hikes draw you high up into stone country, where breathtaking scenery captures the colour and majesty of Kakadu.

Culture

The Mary River region is Jawoyn land, and there are strong cultural ties between this part of Kakadu and nearby Nitmiluk National Park. The Jawoyn people believe that powerful creation ancestors rest here including Bula, the Rainbow Serpent.

The area has a wealth of Indigenous culture, and some of the most fascinating and gorgeous locations are shared with traditional owners. Many of these sites require permits to visit.

Camping and accommodation

Mary River has many quiet camping spots to relax and experience the landscape.

Intrepid travellers can make the journey to two of Kakadu’s best bush camping areas: Jarrangbarnmi (Koolpin Gorge) and Bilkbilkmi (Graveside Gorge). These aren’t the easiest places to get to, but they are absolutely stunning and have special significance for the Jawoyn people. You need to apply for a permit to camp here.

You’ll find rooms, camping, caravan sites, meals and fuel at the Mary River Roadhouse. The nearby Mary River Ranger Station offers information and interpretive displays.

Mary River region map

Map of Mary River region