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Wildman Wilderness Lodge 4.5

Mary River National Park, Top End, Northern Territory

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • In the Mary River Wetlands; spectacular views of the outback diverse and abundant wildlife populations
  • Stylish Habitat Rooms feature elegant interiors, large windows, and espresso machines
  • Glamorous Family Safari Tents with air-conditioning and quality finishes
  • Restaurant serves fine dining outback inspired cuisine and has outback views
  • Room rates include a free breakfast buffet and three-course dinner 
  • Chic lounge with comfy couch seating, a full bar, and a great Australian wine selection
  • Plunge pool and a large sunset deck to take in the views
  • Customized outback tours, including airboats safaris, Kakadu tours, and wetland flights
  • Free bikes, parking, and Wi-Fi

Cons

  • The Family Safari Tents aren't air-conditioned and can get hot during the day
  • Wi-Fi is only available in the main common area and is spotty
  • About a two-hour drive to Darwin for restaurants and shopping (pro for some)

Bottom Line

The Wildman Wilderness Lodge is a luxury boutique hotel located deep in the heart of the Mary River Wetlands. The Wildman is for guests who want an outback experience that's as glamorous as possible. The facilities and 25 rooms take full advantage of the striking views. Two types of rooms are available: stylish Habitats with air-conditioning and modern amenities or Instagram-worthy Family Safari Tents which feel more like glamping than camping. Facilities include a posh lounge, a chic pool, and a relaxed fine dining restaurant serving outback-inspired cuisine. Breakfast and a three-course dinner are included in rates. Customizable outback trips are wildly popular. For something with regular campsites, that's still conveniently located for the outback, check rates at Mary River Wilderness Retreat & Caravan Park

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Scene

Picturesque outback scenery combines with sophistication and style  

Wildman Wilderness Lodge combines beautiful outback views with stylish architecture and interiors. Red earth and desert plants line the horizon and wildlife viewings are abundant. Most days, hundreds of cockatoos can be seen flying through the hotel grounds in front of the low-lying restaurant built with enormous windows and outdoor patios. There are also kangaroo and wallaby sightings, as well as crocodiles in the nearby waterways. The ambience throughout the property is sophisticated and peaceful, with sounds of nature playing a constant soundtrack. Facilities have rustic outback stylings but are combined with luxurious interiors and amenities. The experiences is all about getting back to the basics and switching off. Highlights include sampling the distinctive Northern Territory cuisine at the restaurant, sitting on the deck and watching striking red Australian sunsets, going on walks and tours to observe the wildlife and natural surroundings, and waking up to the spectacular outback scenery. Guests are a mix of couples, families, and groups of friends -- everyone is here for the glamorous outback experience. 

Location

Located in the pristine Mary River Wetlands, on the edge of Kakadu National Park

The hotel is located deep in the Mary River Wetlands, around a two-hour drive from Darwin and the Darwin International airport. The drive up to the hotel is fairly easy and straightforward as a majority of the drive is along Stuart Highway (watch for animal crossing and road train trucks) before a 30-minute stretch along dirt road tracks. The 30-minute drive from the highway to the hotel weaves through dirt trails and once you hit these trails the setting and pace changes dramatically. The Mary River Wetland's pristine natural surroundings are teeming with diverse wildlife populations and spectacular scenery. Kakadu National Park is an additional 90-minute drive up the road from Wildman Lodge. The hotel offers shuttle services (for a fee) and can also organize other modes of transport such as busses, helicopters, and fixed wing aircraft to transport guests to and from the hotel. 

Rooms

Stylish Family Safari Tents or chic Habitats 

The Wildman Wilderness Lodge features 25 rooms divided between two different categories (Family Safari Tents or Habitats), and both offer a different experience. Standalone Habitats are modern and stylish with clean zen-like interiors of white walls, contrasting dark-tiled floors, bright wooden cabinetry, and large windows that overlook the outback. Furnishings include comfortable beds, leather chairs, work desks, and outdoor seating. Habitats have some modern touches not found in the Safari Tents, such as air-conditioning, espresso machines, and iPod docks. Standard amenities include mini-fridges, coffee- and tea-making facilities, bottled water, and toiletries. Family Safari Tents are quite spacious at around 540 square feet (50 square meters). The layout consists of a spacious central area that includes a large queen-size bed and a work table and chair, a back dressing area and bathroom, plus a roomy lofted area with bunk beds, balcony seating, and coffee- and tea-making facilities. The sleeping areas are sectioned off with screen doors, which will be fine for families but groups may not find the spaces private enough. Another thing to note is that the Family Safari Tents tend to get a little warm, as they are not equipped with air-conditioning, but do have ceiling fans. None of the units have Wi-Fi or TVs. 

Bathrooms in the tents are small and basic but clean and tidy. The Habitat bathrooms are much more roomy and stylish, with an open-plan design. Features include a vanity with a large mirror and porcelain sink, and a large rain shower (no bathtub). These bathrooms have great light and a window that overlooks the view.  

Features

Australian-inspired fine dining cuisine, a stylish lounge, a chic pool, free bikes, and paid outback tours

Features add convenience and style to an outback vacation. The restaurant serves fine dining cuisine in a laid-back restaurant that emphasizes local flavors and outback views. Dishes have a distinctive Northern Territory influence and much of the produce is sourced locally. Star menu items can include locally caught fish and game like barramundi fish, crocodile, and buffalo. Indigenous bush spices like lemon myrtle, pepperberry, and bush tomatoes are also featured in many of the dishes. A three-course dinner and buffet-style breakfast is included in rates. The spacious air-conditioned dining room has a warm interior with hardwood furnishings. An alfresco dining section is also set up on the deck. A roomy lounge adjoins the restaurant with comfy couch seating and a fully stocked bar with an excellent wine menu featuring wines and beers from throughout Australia. The chic swimming pool is a great way to cool off from the unrelenting Northern Territory heat.

The tour desk sells tailored tours, offering guests a more comfortable and customized way to experience of the rugged Australian outback. Tours range from wetland airboat safaris, Kakadu National Park full day tours, culture walks, wetland flights, barramundi fishing, and billabong cruises. Many of the excursions are just a short walk or drive down from the hotel. Free mountain bikes are available for guests to use and guided bike tours are offered (for a fee) There is plenty of parking on-site and free Wi-Fi is available in the main common area and the signal can be fairly weak.

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Address

Point Stuart Road, Mary River Wetlands, Top End, Australia

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