The lodge, a luxury bush retreat in what feels like the middle of nowhere, is scenically sited amid the Mary River wetlands, east of Darwin on a giant buffalo station. Closed during the wet season, Bamurru opens as the waters recede and the wilderness comes alive. Each of its elegantly secluded bungalows is designed to combine the best bits of camping with more than a touch of luxury, letting you keep an eye on the local wildlife in comfort. The stunning timber bedroom, which has its own tin and timber bathroom, is virtually in the open air, raised on a wooden platform and screened from nature by a netting wall screen; you can see the bush and wetlands around you but no one can see in. The result is an adventurous night’s sleep and the chance to wake to a gorgeous Outback dawn. This really is the next level of glamping.
Throughout your stay, you’ll be treated to a full range of included activities. Spend your days on bushwalks with a naturalist or local guide, explore further in an open-top 4WD, setting out at dusk to drive to a nearby billabong, or go out in search of animals moving from the floodplains to the safer surrounds of the savannah woodland. Expect to spot wallabies, water buffalo and wild boar while river cruises on Sampan Creek in a flat-bottomed airboat get you up close to flocks of geese, egrets and, of course, the famed saltwater crocodiles. There’s the chance to pause for sundowners and bush-tucker canapés as well.
Back at the lodge, slip into the inviting infinity pool with its views across the wide-open emptiness and freshen up at your private bungalow. Then, in the evening, descend on the cosy communal area with its welcoming leather chairs to help yourself to a drink in the lodge bar before you take your place at the shared tables at the convivial restaurant. Watch the chefs in the open kitchen conjure up country-style fare and join in the conversation about who saw what, and how big that crocodile was. Be sure to also grab a spot on the pool deck after you’ve eaten and gaze up at the vast starscape spread overhead. For a chance to see a different range of wildlife, take yourself off to the treetop hide and look out onto the bush.