A crocodile-inhabited wilderness retreat at the gateway to the Northern Territory’s Kakadu Wetlands has been listed for sale for the first time.
Mary River Wilderness Retreat covers around 400 hectares on the Arnheim Highway, about 90 kilometres from Darwin.
It includes 3 kilometres of Mary River frontage, where guests can get up close with crocodiles.
The 26-bungalow resort was developed by Lynn Frost, who acquired the former melon farm in 2007 with the idea of creating a retreat suitable for corporate gatherings.
“I had previously worked in the motor industry and knew there was very little in Darwin for group functions and conferences,” Ms Frost told The Australian Financial Review.
“It was really rundown, totally dilapidated when I bought it,”
Ms Frost built new cabins, a pool and staff quarters and converted some of the old farm buildings into amenities within the resort, which opened in 2008.
A crocodile tour boat operator offers river cruises from the resort.
“There’s lots of birdlife, rock wallabies and the goannas and lizards are starting to return since they got rid of the cane toads,” she said.
A few years ago “due to personal circumstances” she sold the resort’s leasehold. It is now operated by Saltwater Hotels & Resorts.
Olivia Thompson from Landmark Harcourts is marketing Mary River Wilderness Retreat with offers in excess of $2.8 million on a walk-in,walk-out basis.
“It’s a popular place as a Top Enders’ getaway and for conferences, wedding and as a school camp venue,” Ms Thompson said.
“It’s also popular with caravaners that have pets. They can go to Kakadu for the day and leave pets at the caravan park next to their van.
“Bird watchers love the property because of the vast variety of birdlife. It has its own private billabong that attracts plenty of species, and a great walking track to get there.
“Interstate ecology study groups frequent during the monsoonal season to assess the wildlife activity of the river and wetlands.
“It was previously a successful water melon farm and had a water extraction licence, so there is real horticultural and agricultural potential.”
Ms Thompson is also marketing one of the Northern Territory’s legendary outback roadhouses, the Top Springs Hotel, on behalf of former reality television star and cattle baron Milton Jones.
The remote hotel and pub, surrounded by huge cattle stations and little else, lies 291 kilometres south of Katherine on the junction of the Buntine and Buchanan Highways and forms part of the Savannah Way travel route from Cairns to Broome. It has an asking price of $3 million.
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