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Wildman 4WD Track: Mary River National Park

Wildman 4WD Track: Mary River National Park

Wildman 4WD Track

Mary River National Park

Thirty-Two kilometres of bush track that is accessible from the north (road to Wildman Lodge) or from the south (road to Rockhole). The parks board closes the tack in the wet season due to flooding of the tract. The track is only open once it is navigable in the dry season. Signage at the start of the tract indicates that it is a grade 3 track (I could however not locate NT parks grading system). I would grade it as easy to medium depending on how wet the track is (grading Victoria Parks). This track will disappoint if you are looking for a challenging four-wheel drive experience. However if you are looking for a good of the beaten track experience with birdlife, game and stunning landscape then this is the route to take.

 Mary River floodplain

Mary River floodplain

About Wildman 4x4 track

The track is 32 km of two wheel tracks and when approached from the south (near the Rockhole) it is only a short distance before skirting the Mary river floodplains. However the true vastness of the plains only opens up around the 10 km mark. Billabongs with large numbers of waterbirds are found around the mid point on the track.  A dry riverbed is crossed over about 1 to 2 km before reaching Connellan lagoon (this could hold water early in the dry season?). At about the 19 km point a T-junction with a turn to the left and a short drive will get you to Connellan lagoon. From Connellan lagoon to the exit point on Wildman road the track passes through bushland with tall trees and grass. A short piece of the track is relatively sandy about 3 to 4 km after Connellan lagoon as you skirt the edge of a watering hole. The section near the end of the track around 29 km mark passes along a dry riverbed, this section looks as if it may be challenging when water is present. It was however completely dry in June when we crossed.

The track is well signposted with typical parks board signage. The track is very obvious over most sections and in any areas were it is less obvious it is marked with blue arrows on pickets (arrows like those found on hiking trails). Overall the track was not very corrugated or rutted and made for a pleasant drive.

 

 Wet Billabong, Dry Everywhere Else

Wet Billabong, Dry Everywhere Else

Connellan Lagoon

Connellan lagoon has a picnic table in the shade of a large tree that grows at the edge of the lagoon. We encountered a large number of fresh water crocodiles in the shallow, clear water adjacent to the picnic spot. This would be good stop for a late breakfast and to appreciate the beauty of the lagoon

Why would I take Wildman 4X4 track

The track provides unique access to the edge of the Mary River floodplains. Vistas demonstrate the vast extent of these wetlands. Skittish wallabies as well as shy and reclusive water buffalo are often encountered along the track.  Olga’s watering hole and other water holes on the tract provide good viewing of the abundant water birds in the area. 

 Water Buffalo on the Track

Water Buffalo on the Track

Lighthouse 4WD Track: Cox Peninsula

Lighthouse 4WD Track: Cox Peninsula

Hardies 4WD Track: Mary River National Park

Hardies 4WD Track: Mary River National Park