Hotels, Eco Escapes & Lifestyle Resorts | Unearthing the Exceptional
With its sheer seclusion, its chic eco-minimalist corrugated iron, wood and canvas décor, and its open-sided bungalows with breathtaking views of glossy sunsets and passing wildlife, on a first impression of Bamurru Plains you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d stumbled into a luxurious African safari lodge.
Exchange lions, zebras and giraffes for dingoes, crocs and brumbies – as well as lush floodplains, atmospheric mangroves and waterlily-carpeted billabongs for the vast African savannah, and you’re not too far off.
Bamurru Plains offers all the best bits of a safari escape – bouncing 4×4 drives across untouched terrain in search of Attenborough-like encounters with the wildlife, including over two hundred species of bird and the southern hemisphere’s highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles; sharing stories over mouthwatering ‘bush tucker cuisine’ from the open kitchen; long hours of leisure uninterrupted by internet and mobile phones; falling asleep wrapped in the sounds of the wilderness all around you. It’s no wonder that the Mary River, on which the eco lodge is located, has been called Australia’s answer to the Okavango Delta.
Located just west of the Kakadu National Park, an area that boasts both a rich cultural history of indigenous cave paintings and a profusion of bird and wildlife, Bamurru Plains is a chance to explore and experience an unforgettable destination in Australia’s Timeless North. There’s the opportunity for airboat tours, riverboat safaris, fishing and bird watching, as well as excursions to Arnhem Land and Kakadu.
Back at camp, the nine bungalows are built on timber platforms, blending seamlessly into the landscape of wild palms and twisting paperbarks, and fitted out with a fabric mesh that allows you to feel as though you’re sleeping directly under the stars, even as you enjoy privacy and comfort. Bamurru Plains offers the kind of luxury that goes beyond minibars, cinema libraries and 24 hour room service. After all, who needs a giant flatscreen when you have a 180 degree of the outdoors from your bed, and a spa bath when you can cool down in the alfresco inifinity pool?
The focus of a stay at Bamurru is in the environment and the wildlife and birdlife for whom it is home. Each of the nine safari bungalows is built amongst the savannah fringing the floodplains and is designed expose guests to the sights and sounds of the surrounding bush. The bungalows are built on raised timber platforms and each has an en suite bathroom. With no telephone, television or the typical features of a hotel room to distract, the guest’s focus turns to the environment. Our concept is simple – we have focussed on key creature comforts, a supremely comfortable bed, top quality linen, a high pressure hot water shower, a flush toilet and space.
Spacious and cool, each of the safari bungalows overlook the flood plain frequented by a myriad of bird and animal life. Walls are airy screens, admitting refreshing breezes that rustle the leaves of the surrounding pandanus.
The lodge is the perfect place to relax in a comfortable chair; a well stocked library offers a collection of reference books. During the heat of the day the cooling waters of the infinity pool beckon and later the lounging deck is the ideal place to watch the wildlife graze through the camp. An expert chef conjures up delicious meals, peppered with local ingredients. Anytime of the day you can help yourself to a cold drink from the bar – be it a crisp white wine, a gin and tonic or sparking water.
At night no other lights shine out; the only sounds is the deep chorus of the Australian bush – various frog species, barking owls and the occasional dingo.
Activities take place on the floodplains of the Mary River, one of the most important ecosystems in Australia and host to an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna. A morning trip by airboat skimming across vast crimson waterlilies is utterly exhilarating and the only way to truly experience an environment that is home to thousands of Magpie Geese, Plumed Whistling-Duck, Egrets, Ibis and a host of other birds. Other activities include open top safari drives, river cruises in search of saltwater crocodiles and guided bush walks.
Wildlife viewing on foot or by vehicle takes place in the savannah woodland and frequently seen species include: Agile Wallabies, Antilopine Wallaroos, dingos, Estuarine Crocodiles, wild pigs and buffalo. Other species appear at night – a variety of reptiles, possums, water monitors and other amphibians. River cruises on the Sampan River reveal one of the largest crocodile populations in the world.
At extra cost specialist fishing guides will host serious fisher-folk and Bamurru can arrange visits to the Aboriginal rock art galleries of Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land.
Bamurru Plains is located on the edge of the Mary River floodplains just a short distance from the coast and the western boundary of Kakadu National Park
20 minutes flight by light aircraft from Darwin airport, or 20 minutes from Kakadu National Park.
3 hours’ drive from Darwin, 2 ½ hours from Jabiru (Kakadu National Park).
Guests wishing to self-drive may do so but, as the property is a working buffalo station, they are required to leave their vehicles at the entrance of the property from where they will be picked up by a staff member for the 20 minute drive back to camp.