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“The safari starts before you even get out of bed!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bamurru Plains

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Bamurru Plains
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   West of Kakadu National Park | Mary River, Mary River National Park, Northern Territory, Australia   |  
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“The safari starts before you even get out of bed!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

WOW! From the moment I boarded the small Cessna aircraft in Darwin I knew I was headed for an adventure. The 25 minute flight from Darwin to the Bamurru Plains took me over the winding Adelaide River (which is home to the largest population of salt water crocs in the country!) and the vast floodplain system before landing on this huge (300 sq km in fact) buffalo station. We were greeted on arrival by Al and Lauren in their open top 4WD safari vehicles and transferred to the lodge.
The 20 minute drive from the airstrip to the lodge is a wildlife safari in itself and my friends and I were squealing with excitment at the sight of Agile Wallabies, wild horses and buffalo. When we arrived to the main lodge we were met by more of the friendly team who had cold towels (what a treat!) and a cool drink ready for us to enjoy before showing us around the lodge area (I quickly spied the fresh cookie jar, nespresso coffee machine & well stocked bar etc) and on to our individual, stilted safari bungalows with views across the floodplain.
The rooms are amazing and like nothing I have ever experienced before. Whilst simply furnished it included a supremely comfortable bed, pillow menu, bathrobes, comfy chairs (to sit quietly and enjoy the view) and big bathrooms with fluffy towels.
The safari bungalows are designed to bring the outside in (not literally), but the sights and sounds that surround you. The floor to celing mesh offers spectacular views across the floodplains and to the variety of birds that stop in the trees, the Agile Wallaby that graze around your room and the buffalo wallowing in the floodplains ahead. It was a wonderful sight to wake up to in the morning as I lay in my bed and watch the area come to life.
Our guides and the guided experiences were such a highlight and really brought the experience alive - it is Australia's version of Botswana. Airboats (a kind of fan driven hovercraft) instead of mocoros, buffalo instead of hippos an amazing variety of birdlife and of course salt water crocodiles! Skimming across the floodplains in an airboat, stopping in the melaleuca forest for morning tea, admiring fields of pink lotus flowers and a variety of waterbirds on the floodplain - what a spectacle! In the middle of the day we had plenty of time to relax, swim in the pool, enjoy a glass of wine (or two) with a delicious lunch made by their wonderful chef, Michael, before we headed out again in the afternoon on a safari drive with Lauren. Lauren was a wealth of knowledge who shared information on the surrounding habitat, wildlife and birdlife. We stopped by a waterhole to quietly watch the birds and enjoy a drink before we headed back for canapes on the deck as the sun went down. Dinner is enjoyed with all of the guests at the lodge and some of the guides which made for some great story telling in the evening - not to mention new holiday ideas and new friends!
Michael created a fab dinner each night and suggested matching wines for each course - a great way to work through their great Aussie selection. Bamurru Plains has been the highlight for 2012 thus far - an amazing wilderness location, a team of staff that you hugged goodbye at the end the stay and a fantastic travel experience.

I combined my stay at Bamurru Plains with a camping trip with Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safari - overall, a fantastic trip in the Top End of Northern Australia.

Room Tip: There is a helicopter based at Bamurru Plains so I would highly recommend booking on a scenic flight...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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49 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2011

I'm not sure that we've ever slept so soundly as listening to the wild noises at Bamurru Plains, whilst nestled in very comfy beds.
This hotel is a treat for sure - it takes a little navigating to get to, and with it being remote, it is not on the cheap side. The room concept is very original though- cabins positioned amongst the trees with freely roaming buffalo, wild horses, pigs, and wallabies. A special screen for windows allows you to view all and to remain hidden from outside (is entertaining watching the wallabies trying to figure it out).
We went at the end of wet season and much of Kakadu itself was closed given this year has been extremely wet- however we still got to see Arnhem Land from the air, and the airboat rides close to the lodge were like something out of fairytales (toads on lily pads- mind the crocs tho!).
We didn't get to hike in Arnhem Land due to the remaining flooding, but the Lords Safari Tour was highly recommended out of Darwin - would look this up. We did the jumping Croc tour en route, which is a useful awareness lesson if you are going to be spending time nr the water at somewhere like Bamurru.
We were at Bamurru Plains in a difficult period- the wet season was unprecedented (almost) and there had been some turnover in staff impacting food/service a bit. Top mgmt seem solid tho, & were well aware of the issues/addressing, and I would still recommend this place for people seeking 'something a bit different'! It is truly unique.

Room Tip: Choose airconditioned cabin
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2010

We wanted a taste of the outback and to be near Kakadu National Park. The lodge was okay but not a "blown" away experience. The food was better than average and the accommodations were in the same category. Some things were needed such as a minor thing as a mirror over the sink in the bathroom to oiling the doors that squeaked in our cabin.

To be fair we traveled greatly in Australia and this leg of the trip was tiring.

The wildlife was not all that outstanding but the birdlife was stunning. The morning trip on a air boat was beautiful. The number and types of birds was vast. I would think this place would be a must for birders. The afternoon hike in the forest was interesting but the mosquitoes were annoying.

We took a flight from here to the Kakadu and we had a wonderful guide and learned a great deal about the "old ways".

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london, uk
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2009

Went April '08 and only just got round to this.

After a somewhat terrifying flight in a small plane - I swear, our pilot had the manual on his lap before take-off, opened to the page "How to start the plane" - we landed on a dirt strip (once the cattle had moved out of the way).

The brochure calls it bush luxury, and that's about right. Rooms are simple but elegant, food is great, and there's a small pool to cool down from the insane humidity. The best thing is the place itself. Remote, gorgeous, with funny, knowledgeable staff to show you around - Dan especially, who would suddenly leap out of the jeep, scramble up a tree and bring us ants to eat.

One small quibble - they charge you (a lot) extra to have the air-conditioning on. And with the humidity being what it is, air-con is highly desirable. The woman who informed us of this said it was 'to protect the environment', and made us feel bad for even asking. Which is a bit crazy, given that to get here in the first place, most people have to charter a plane.

But that's a really minor complaint. Everything else about this place - the daily safaris, the meals prepared with local ingredients (crocodile risotto anyone?) - is fantastic. Assuming you're willing to re-mortgage your house, you got to go.

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2009

I've just returned from a long relaxing weekend at the beautiful Bamurru Plains in Australia's Northern Territory. What an amazing experience, I feel totally relaxed and inspired by the wonders of what Australia has to offer. Bamurru offers itself as "wild bush luxury" which exactly right - the "tents" (they have a screen door, are elevated and have an en suite, so there is nothing actually tent-like about them) allow you to feel like you are part of the outdoor environment whilst still enjoying all the creature comforts of luxury travel. But what really sets it apart is the service and the tour experiences - the airboat tour was so much fun, skimming across the floodplain looking at crocodiles, magpie geese (and goslings), sea eagles and kites - as well as beautiful lily ponds and melaleuca forests. I imagine that this is what people expect from Cooinda and Jabiru (which are inside Kakadu National Park but aren't nearly as exciting destinations). Each evening, we drove out to view sunset and watch the wildlife (land based this time - water buffalo, wallabies and brumbies) - in open topped vehicles - just breath-taking! The camp hosts and tour guides certainly make you feel very welcome and nothing is too much trouble. The food is superb, and the open bar (just help yourself) always a treat.
I can't say enough about this place, I returned home totally revived.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NSW
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2009

We absolutely loved Bamurru Plains. It is very special and so relaxing. We were a little nervous about going at the end of the wet - but we need not have been concerned. It was raining when we landed and apart from a brief shower one afternoon (and a downpour at 3am) we had no further issues with the weather. The whole set up is fantastic. The tents are luxurious (in a barefoot luxury way) and allow you to lie in bed and watch the wildlife - wallabies, wild horses, buffalo, geese, herons, egrets when we were there. The bathroom/dressing room is very well appointed. The food is plentiful and delicious (up to the standard of hatted restaurants in the major cities). The pool with day beds is a great place to relax as is the central clubhouse. The excursion were fascinating - lots of birds and animals, well informed guides - on both land and water - and we visited come really magicall places (e.g. the area of the flood plain filled with lillies and lotus flowers). We can't recommend it highly enough!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2008

We arrived not really knowing what to expect from our stay at Bamurru. After a 35 minute flight in a light aircraft from Darwin we landed at the dusty airstrip where we were met by really friendly staff who drove us to the camp nearly 20 minutes away.

The central lodge was lovely. It overlooked the flood plains where buffalo and wallabies were roaming and grazing. There was a stunning horizon swimming pool and two pavillions where you could just relax and watch the spectacular sunsets. This was also a very breezy spot so if it was a bit warm you could rest here.

We had a sit down breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. All the meals were communal which was great as you got to know other people and share experiences from your safaris. The meals were exquisite. Very thoughftully prepared. I had some dietary requirements that were taken care of without any fuss. Every meal was a pleasure including the delightful canapes that were prepared for us to enjoy on safari.

We stayed in one of the new cabins right at the far eastern end of the camp. The accommodation made you feel that you were outside with the wildlife but still living in luxury. Each cabin has a insect proof mesh that allows you to see everything outside but nothing can see in. This was an amazing experience as we felt as though we were outside in the bush and at one with nature!

The bed was really comfortable and they offer 3 types of pillows from soft to hard. Bathroom and shower was spectacular! The design really fit with the environment and once again you felt like you were outdoors in the bush but you were in a secluded very private and stunning bathroom!

The safaris were informative and interesting. We were woken daily at 5.30am which was an early rise but well worth it as you saw the most beautiful sunrise and its when most of the animals are out and about. We returned from safari at about 10.30am and then usually enjoyed a swim before lunch and then an afternoon nap followed by another safari from 4pm to 7pm. You are on the go alot but its so magical experiencing the Australian bush and wetlands that its well worth it.

The staff are professional, knowledgeable and very friendly and make the stay very enjoyable.

Overall this will be a holiday that we will remember for a very long time. We loved it so much that we're going to go back during the wet season where everything will look completely different. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bamurru Plains

Address: West of Kakadu National Park | Mary River, Mary River National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Northern Territory > Top End > Mary River National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Mary River National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bamurru Plains 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the midst of the savannah bush on the edge of the Mary River floodplains, Australia’s answer to the Okavango delta, Bamurru Plains’ is the setting for a wilderness experience like no other. With just nine safari suites, each blending seamlessly with the surrounding bush and with a focus on the key luxury comforts, a supremely comfortable bed, innovative Australian cuisine and premium wines (no TVs, minibars or telephones to distract from the wildlife outside), Bamurru deliberately tries not to be a typical luxury hotel room in the bush. The floodplains and savannah woodland offer one of Australia’s richest wildlife experiences: tens of thousands of Magpie Geese mingle with Whistling Kites, egrets, herons and buffalo on the floodplain, while Blue-winged Kookaburras, parrots, cockatoos and Agile Wallabies inhabit the fringing woodlands. Bamurru’s team of passionate field guides offer a variety of activities, including exhilarating airboat trips on the floodplains, cruises on the Sampan River to spot crocodiles, four-wheel drive safaris, scenic flights over the floodplains and coastline. We can also arrange tours to the rock art galleries of Arnhem Land or guided fishing trips. In the evening, sit back with a sundowner drink and canapés and enjoy the soft ‘Wild Bush Luxury’ touches that are the Bamurru trademark. There is also an open bar, a small swimming pool and nature reference library. Bamurru Plains, its facilities and 300 km² of country are exclusively for the use of its guests, so you can be assured of a quiet, privileged outback experience. Bamurru Plains is a member of the Luxury Lodges of Australia ... more   less 
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