WOW! Just wow! This delightful tropical location in the top end of the Northern Territory honestly stole a piece of our hearts, and we reckon it’ll have the same effect on you.
Dundee Beach simply oozes that remote, small town charm. Owing to its lack of commercialised shops and large infrastructure, it makes you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, yet sits little more than an hour’s drive from Darwin and is accessible all year round. If you’re a sucker for a coastal breezes, stunning sunsets, palm tree silhouettes and adventure-filled days, then this is one place you have to put at the top of your bucket list.
For the adventurers, there are plenty of places to explore both on and off the nearby beaches. We do need to point out however, that Dundee Beach is a nesting place for turtles who lay their eggs along the beach in the dry season (generally between July and November each year) — so please urge motorists to only drive on beaches below the high tide mark to reduce the ecological impact and keep these baby turtles safe.
Heading left from Dundee you’ll find 4WD tracks that pass through Finniss River Station’s private land (obeying signage will ensure the owners continue to allow passers-through). These tracks will swing you by Stingray Head Lookout, Ant Hill grave yard (the nearby magnetic termite mound city) and give access to the mouth of the Finniss River, where if you’re feeling brave, you can flick some live bait around and try your luck at landing a barramundi.
Please note there are big crocs around these parts. We felt we’d be too on-edge fishing here at the mouth of the river, particularly with our children, so if you stay, we remind you to keep your wits about you at all times, and be croc-wise!
Depending on your idea of what adventure entails, why not take a day trip into Litchfield National Park to experience some of their waterfalls and crystal clear pools, get amongst a local rodeo during the dry season, either at Noonamah or Darwin River Tavern, or hit up the Dundee Beach Markets to find some travel mementos from local stall-holders?
Untouched and unspoilt
This is some of the most seemingly untouched ocean we’ve encountered so far on our travels, and as far as fishing and crabbing goes, there still remains a lot of unspoilt waters out here where you can wet a line or throw some crab pots and catch a great feed.
With fishing spots ranging from the rock wall opposite the boat ramp to the the beach fronts, nearby estuaries, or from out on the water in a boat (or tinnie), the real difference here is in people’s willingness to share co-ordinates to the hotspots — known reef areas and deep holes — which takes some of the guessing and searching out of the equation for travellers on a time frame.
Now, if you like the thought of a fun-filled day of fishing, but don’t necessarily have the know-how to make it happen on your own, we recommend you chat with the guys at Dundee Beach Holiday Park Fishing Charters, and let them take you out and show you a good time instead. With their local knowledge, they’ll happily customise your charter to have you chasing your ‘bucket list’ fish, and provide all the necessary gear for a comfortable and memorable day out on the water.
We also recommend you venture to Boss Creek, which you’ll find to the right of Dundee via 4WD tracks (both down on the beach and behind the dunes) taking you down past another boat ramp and the nearby mouth of the creek. We spent a night out under the stars in our tents, leaving the van in the safety of the caravan park as we couldn’t get it down through the tight tracks.
Fishing the incoming tide by sunset was absolutely magical and we landed a decent sized queen fish to cook over our campfire for dinner which topped off an incredible evening. It is definitely worth a look while you’re in the area.
We set up camp at Dundee Beach Holiday Park, to get as close as possible to the Dundee boat ramp and those stunning water views and, given the tropical summer weather, to still have the necessary comforts of power to run our air-conditioner on those stifling wet season nights. Oh, the pool was a big factor for the kiddies too, providing some safe croc-free water to splash around in.
This holiday park has seriously got it all; hotel-worthy bathrooms, friendly and knowledgeable staff who happily shared information and recommendations on their local area so we could get the most out of our time, and even a corner store that stocks necessities such as fuel, bread, milk and ice-creams (of course!)
Be sure to head to The Lodge of Dundee pub for a cider and killer parma on Tuesday’s schnitzel night, and check out the other nightly specials while you’re there. You won’t be disappointed!
The caravan park has plenty of events on throughout the year too, particularly throughout their peak seasons, so we’d recommend following along on their socials for up-to-date information. From family movie nights under the stars and fishing talks from local gurus, to boats for hire, and communal fire and camp-fire cook ups, the welcoming and inclusive vibe of the park will have you lining up to extend your stay for sure.
Dundee Beach has certainly provided us an incredible family adventure!