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Wildman Wilderness Lodge, located in the Mary River wetlands of the Northern Territory, has now re-opened for the 2014 season with some new team members and exciting new touring experiences.

Just two hours’ drive from Darwin, the Lodge has become one of Australia’s most popular and stylish places to stay in the Top End providing opportunities for guests to explore this outstanding wetlands ecosystem and experience the amazing wildlife.

Melissa Hoare has been appointed as the new General Manager for Wildman Wilderness Lodge. Hoare has extensive experience in the travel and tourism industry having previously worked as Front Office Manager at Peppers Manor House in the Southern Highlands and Kings Canyon Resort in the Northern Territory and Rooms Division Manager at Fitzroy Island.

Working alongside Hoare to continue Wildman’s reputation for providing an excellent dining experience is Bailey Price, the new Head Chef. Price has previously held a number of Head Chef roles having worked for Descarada Luxury Charters in the Whitsundays, luxury retreat Karriview Lodge in Margaret River, and Paradise Tavenui Resort in Fiji.

Showcasing the best local and native produce that the region has to offer, Wildman’s delicious array of food and beverages are matched only by the stunning views.

Also new to the Wildman team this year is Scott McMillan, the new Tour Manager. McMillan has been offering interpretive guided tours in remote wilderness areas throughout Australia for 17 years, starting out in the Red Centre in the Northern Territory. Since then his guiding career has led him all over Australia and the world, however his passion and interest remains firmly in the remote and rugged beauty of the Northern Territory, in particular for the significance of the land from an Indigenous and environmental perspective.

Taking advantage of Wildman Wilderness Lodge’s location next to some of the best fishing spots in the country, McMillan is introducing a range of new fishing tours for this season by boat, airboat, helicopter and 4WD.

The tours will suit novices and experienced enthusiasts and range from a two-hour Home Billabong fishing tour to a six-hour heli-fishing tour to find the best barramundi in the country.

The new fishing tours join existing activities at Wildman including the Mary River Wetlands Air Boat Tour, Home Billabong Cruises, Mary River Rockhole Cruise, full-day Kakadu Tour, helicopter adventure flights, scenic air safaris, mountain biking and guided nature walks.

The interpretive Wetlands Air Boat Safari was introduced to Wildman last season and allows guests to really experience the wetlands’ unique biodiversity and wildlife in all their beauty. Departing from the Home Billabong, the 45 and 90-minute tours cost $185 and $245 respectively per adult.

The Mary River Wetlands are teeming with wildlife featuring a vast variety of birdlife. The billabongs, paperbark and monsoon forests support breeding populations of brolgas, egrets, black necked storks, sea eagles, magpie geese and many more bird species.

The flood plains rise and recede with the region’s wet and dry seasons with freshwater waterways and billabongs providing a natural habitat for some of the largest salt water crocodiles in Australia and copious barramundi.

To launch the opening of its fourth season, Wildman Wilderness Lodge has a two-night Wildman Escape. The package costs $599.50 per person, based on a twin-share Safari Tent, and includes a full breakfast daily, a three-course dinner each evening, and a two-hour Home Billabong Cruise.
The Lodge offers two accommodation options – the 10 eco-style “Habitats” and 15 stylish en-suite Safari Tents. The Habitats are free-standing, fully air conditioned structures with all the amenities expected in a luxury lodge including premium quality furnishings, king size beds and ensuite bathrooms. The Habitats are $689 per room, per night for double occupancy and include dinner, bed and breakfast.

Each of the safari tents is over 50m² in size with fan cooling, private bathrooms and luxurious bedding and sleeps four guests. The tents are $549 per room, per night based on double occupancy, and include dinner, bed and breakfast.

Heading into its fourth year of operations in 2014, the Lodge has been the recipient of a number of awards over the years including the 2012 Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards (Unique Accommodation category), Best New Tourism Development at the 2011 Brolga Awards and a listing in the UK Tatler Travel Guide as one of the top 101 hotels worldwide.

Wildman is the result of years of planning by tourism industry leader, Grant Hunt and owners, Indigenous Business Australia (IBA). Hunt has long been known for his work in developing iconic tourism experiences in Australia and is currently Chairman of Anthology, the company he started in 2008.

Wildman Wilderness Lodge is open from 28th March to 30th November each year and closes for the wet season.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management