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Bamurru Plains

Thursday, August 2, 2007

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. It is there you can enjoy this remarkable place, its wildlife and birdlife in Wild Bush Luxury.

Bamurru is on Swim Creek Station, one of a handful of buffalo pastoral properties, and when the muster is in full swing, helicopters or bull catchers corral them into the yards. It is something to behold.

The owners have built just nine safari suites on private property amongst the savannah bush fringing the floodplains. Each is ensuite and on a raised timber floor. In the heat of the day, there is a shady space for lazing and watching local wildlife. Blue-winged kookaburras announce dawn, whistling kites and tens of thousands of magpie geese make their presence known with no competition from telephones, televisions or CD players. There is nothing like the sight and sound of a grown buffalo splashing through the floodplains.

Creature comforts are plentiful. A most comfortable bed, 100% cotton bedclothes, large and soft bath towels, high pressure shower and plenty of space to move.

Meals are taken in the lodge and are wholesome and innovative with a touch of native produce in some dishes. Oysters in the shell, scallops, camel meat skewers, crocodile san choy bow, buffalo fillet, fish cooked in paperbark over hot coals, chilli mud crabs. Just let them know what you don’t eat before you go.

Your hosts have great knowledge of the area, and with a small number of guests, you never feel as though you may have missed out on something.

The floodplains of the Mary River region form one of Australia’s most significant ecosystems. Much of what your activities will be depends on the seasons.

The Wet runs between December to March when monsoons form over south-east Asia and a dense blanket of cloud rolls in from the Timor Sea. It is a time of environmental rebirth and regrowth of aquatic plants which provide food for magpie geese as they prepare for their nesting season. Estuarine crocodiles move back to the plains in preparation for their breeding season. There is heavy rain and some spectacular storms.

Between March and May when the waters recede from the floodplains, magpie geese and brolgas tend their newly hatched young and shallow areas attract a truly wonderful variety of waterbirds. Cormorants, pelicans, egrets, spoonbills, herons and ibises flock in, and waterlilies and other waterplants are at their best.

May to July is the early dry season. Cooler temperatures and lower humidity make it a very comfortable time of year to visit. Grassfires can be prominent and it’s the time to spot kites, brown falcons and sea eagles.

August to September is late dry with warmer days and nights. There are greater concentrations of birdlife on the billabongs as waterways and floodplains dry out. Woodland plants provide an abundance of nectar, and flowering cluster figs attract many species including northern brushtail possums and black flying-fox.

The pre-monsoon season between October to December is when the dry season’s clear skies build up cumulus and massive storm cells. The parched earth soaks up the rain and suddenly the floodplains become verdant carpets. Termite build up their nests and cicadas buzz as they undergo their final moult. The concentration of birdlife is spectacular, frogs croak in the woodlands and wallaroos and wallabies resume their breeding cycles.

Match your preferred activities with the right time of year – and there is plenty to choose from.

Morning airboat tours on the plains give an exhilarating experience of enjoying the environment.

Cruises along the Sampan River which forms the western boundary of the station, take you to one of the largest crocodile populations in the world. Cruise through mangroves in search of them, with the added bonus of great numbers of birdlife.

The Sampan River is also a mecca for barramundi, and specialist guides can be arranged for you. Offshore reefs provide one of the best spots in the country for jewfish.

The dry season, when water has recessed from much of the floodplain, is when to do 4WD touring. Guides will provide an insight into the fragile and very important environment. Open top vehicles provide the best viewing and are equipped to carry cool drinks and food.

Bamurru Plains does not have sites of specific Aboriginal interest, but the rock art galleries of Kakadu and Arnhem Land are only a short distance away. Bamurru provides an ideal base from which to visit Kakadu and yet return to an exclusive bush camp at the end of the day.


A 20 minute flight from Darwin.


Bamurru Plains Swim Creek Station costs $1700 a double a night.

Australasian Jet charter flights from Darwin to Bamurru Plains takes 30minutes and cost $400 for five people.

Prices correct at 02.08.2007

For more information

Bamurru Plains
9/26-32 Pirrama Road
Pyrmont 2009
Ph: 02 9571 6399
1300 790 561
Fax: 02 9571 6655

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