Ghertner Family Walkabout travel blog

Helen & Yates in the captain's chairs

Out and about on the airboat

Crocodile on Sanpan Creek

One of 10,000 wallabies

Water buffalo with a cattle egret on his back

Check out the size of this termite mound

Just finished quad-biking with the kids

Clearly we were following not leading - a little dirty

Pretty view of paper bark trees in the back water

So one of the best parts about Bamurru Plains is the diversity of experiences that they offer and fortunately, we were able to take advantage of nearly all of them. The routine each day is fairly predictable in that breakfast is served at 8 am, first excursion goes out at 9:00 am for 2.5 hours, lunch at 12:30, 2nd excursion at 4:00, drinks/canapes at 6:30 and dinner at 7:30. Overall, a nice blend of action and relaxation. Our range of activities included the following:

1) Safari Tour - open air ride through the property where we received a bit of education on the flora and fauna around us. Most memorable part likely was everyone eating a green ant or two - these are ants that have a green belly full of citric acid - as you can imagine, they had a very sour taste to them. Sasha was our guide and while she had only been here for 3 months, she was incredibly knowledgeable about bird life, plant life and the overall lay of the land

2) Air Boat Tour - if you are a birder, Bamurru is definitely the place for you - lots of rare birds to be seen and the airboat clearly is the best way to see them as you can cover all types of terrain. Also came across tons of water buffalo, some wild horses, a crocodile or two and the signature bird of the Top End, the magpie goose (aka a bamaru hence the name). While we took two airboat tours, the most memorable part of this one was actually when the manager of Bamurru heard about Yates' affinity for airboats and offered to take us out for a sunrise cruise and teach Yates how to drive one. He certainly didn't have to do it, but it was an incredibly generous gesture on his part and one that Yates truly enjoyed. It should also come as no surprise, that like his talents for driving other things, Yates was quite proficient at driving an airboat as well - in fact, John said he had guides who couldn't keep a boat moving in one direction as well as Yates

3) Boat Tour on Sanpan Creek - did this one on our second afternoon with a number of the other guests and saw five crocs and whole host of birds. The creek, which is more like a river, is tidal in nature and has 8 meters of drop each day. It is also a fantastic place to catch Barramundi when they are in season.

4) Quad Bikes - aka four-wheelers to us Americans. Took the kids and spent two hours driving all over the property. While they wouldn't let Yates drive by himself (much to his chagrin), they did allow me to put him in front of me on the four wheeler and pretty much control everything. By the end, I was merely his passenger. As you can see from the pics, having to follow the guide (who had Helen on the back of his bike) is a pretty dirty endeavor.

While one wouldn't necessarily consider sleeping an excursion, I would say that all of the wildlife activity at night certainly made it memorable. From the wallabies traipsing around underneath the tents to the buffalo walking right next to them on their way back to the flood plain to the cockatoos performing their role as an Australian rooster each morning, there was a constant cacophony of noises. But probably the funniest story from the evening time pertained to a midnight visit to the toilet and an unceremonious visit from a frog who had crawled up through the toilet pipes to greet me - needless to say, I was a bit startled and turned the lights on from that point forward.

Overall, the 3.5 days we spent at Bamurru were unlike any other experience we've had and a welcome change of pace from our city visits.

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