Perched on the top of Beatrice Hill, one of the highest points overlooking the incredible sprawl of the Adelaide River Floodplain, the Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre is the perfect pit stop on the way to Mary River National Park and Kakadu National Park. While there, you can get a solid understanding of the landscapes you’re about to see, giving you a great introduction to the region.
The Visitor Centre looks over the Adelaide River, which is one of eight rivers in the Top End of Australia that encompass large, fascinating floodplains. Along with the other seven, the floodplains come together to create a huge expanse of coastal wetlands – which is known to be one of the most threatened land systems in the world, and which is exactly what the Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre focuses on. Together, these floodplains are known as the northern coastal wetlands, a fascinating region that you can delve right into.
On the top floor of the centre, which is well-positioned at the top of a hill, there is a 270 degree viewing platform where you can gaze out over the expanse of wetlands below.
The views vary depending on the time of year you visit – during the wet season, you might be party to breath-taking lightning shows from the viewing platform, while in the dry season you can soak up the mesmerising views of the baked, dried-out floodplains. One of the best things about this area is how diverse it is, and how much it is contrasted in different seasons.
Throughout the collection of interactive displays and exhibits, you’ll get to find out more about the dramatic seasonal changes and the ecological processes that take place month-to-month in the wetlands.
As well as this, you’ll find plenty of detailed information and facts on the native wildlife found in the wetlands and the Aboriginal and European history that imbues the area and adds a touch of cultural mystique to the proceedings.
When you’ve finished finding out about the eclectic selection of creatures, plants, and landscapes on offer, you can join a free nature talk that takes part every day at the centre (apart from Wednesdays and Sundays). During the talk, you’ll get to know more about the variety of wetland plants, animals, and culture, and discover more about the pests and weeds that continue to threaten the habitats that are commonly found in the region.