Hotel

Jabiru Safari Lodge

Like Crocodile Dundee after a Saville Row style tweak, the Jabiru Safari Lodge offers rugged Australia with a touch of class. Within the epic surroundings of the Mareeba Wetland Reserve, you’ll be housed in the tented elegance of a private African-style safari cabin. Expert guides (including the inimitable Chook Crawford) will lead you across stretches of untouched outback and picturesque wetland that teem with indigenous wildlife. From Sunrise Safari to Sunset Safari, Jabiru provides the best accommodations from which to explore the sights and sounds of Mareeba.

Location

Set among 2000 hectares of outback nature reserve-come-woodland, grassland and freshwater wetland, the Jabiru Safari Lodge is located just over an hour to the west of Cairns, within the colossal and spectacular Mareeba Wetland Reserve.

Your room

Like the architectural lovechild of a Scandinavian pergola and private marquee, your eco-cabin comes decked out with comfy beds, warm furnishings, timber floors and ensuite. A glorified tent this most definitely is not. Curious emus might come and squawk a friendly g’day as you relax and drink in the surroundings from the comfort of your private timber-decked veranda. Lay down your binoculars, immerse yourself in the peaceful murmur of the evening and slip another shrimp on the barbie.

Why we like it

For all the ornithologists out there (and all the non-ornithologists out there), Mareeba Wetlands is one of Australia’s true must-sees. A trip crammed with adventure and spectacle, the highlight was catching a full rendition of the legendary dance of the brolga as two of the elegant cranes strutted their funky stuff among the oversized termite mounds during the sunrise wildlife safari. Did I mention we were canoeing across the lotus crested Clancy’s Lagoon at the time? Oh we were. The majestic birds may be big, but they sure know how to move. Wing ways to the wetlands now for an alternative safari vacation to remember. It won’t be long before the rest of the world comes flocking.

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