Where else can you see grazing water buffalo over cocktails or sample food as wild as the landscape? Toss aside the bow ties, guide books, and stilettos, and head to Bamurru Plains, one of Australia’s most luxurious wildlife lodges.
It’s not every day you can see all the way to the horizon without a single interruption, save for the odd wild horse or lumbering water buffalo in the distance. Sitting on the outdoor patio of Bamurru Plains in Australia’s Northern Territory, with a chilled glass of Hunter Valley Semillion in hand, you get a whole new perspective on size. And then, as if on cue, your vista of staggeringly beautiful nothingness competes with a Noah’s Ark-like procession of wildlife, passing just meters in front of the lodge, just as the last of the day’s sunlight is drained from the sky.
While Bamurru Plains, arguably the Territory’s most luxurious game lodge, can’t take credit for the conga line of wild boar, water buffalo, and Brumbys (wild horses), it’s the camp’s immersion with its stunning surroundings that make wildlife spotting here, miles from anything, a certainty rather than a novelty.
Located just off the Top End coast of the Northern Territory, and perched on the cusp of the Mary River flood plains, Bamurru Plains offers the ultimate in ‘wild bush luxury’, appealing to experiential travelers looking for a balance between comfort and adventure – a Crocodile Dundee meets the Four Seasons travel experience if you will. Situated on what Territorians would refer to as a “lifestyle block”, the 305sqkm station plays home to all manner of wildlife, including herds of water buffalo, flocks of squawking magpie geese, and its fair share of massive saltwater crocodiles.
It’s a good 15-minute drive from front door to front gate, and an hour and a half past that to Darwin so many of the station’s well-to-do guests choose to arrive via helicopter or light plane, directly to the property’s landing strip.
Like the year-round residents, accommodation is rather unique. Forget tents or prefabs more nostalgic of an inner-city primary school; luxurious cabins are perched above the verge of the flood plain, close enough to the main lodge to call for help when your Sauvignon Blanc runs low, but far enough not to interfere with your environmental voyeurism.
In fact, the design of the lodge is all about nature, bringing guests to the very cusp of the Territory’s famed wildlife. Don’t fret, there are proper beds, air conditioning, fans, and spacious bathrooms that include cobblestone, semi-outdoor showers. But the most important aspect is the cabin’s unique stealth technology. Using the innovative fabric that wraps the ‘viewing gallery’, guests can enjoy the privacy of their cabin while still viewing the animals that graze nearby.
Tariffs include gourmet meals, including ‘bush tucker’ the likes of emu pate, and crocodile wontons. There are also insightful guided treks into the bush, and wildlife safaris on the lodge’s fleet of noisy but exhilarating airboats. These safaris search for geese nests, buffalo, and the odd ‘salty’ crocodile hidden in submerged paperbark forests.
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