Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
June 2013

Leaning Tree Lagoon Nature Park
location map
Leaning Tree Lagoon is a quiet body of water connected with the Adelaide River system during the wet but isolated in the dry when it becomes home for wetland fauna. The lagoon is on the Arnhem Highway about 90 kilometres from Darwin. Access is via a short (less than one kilometre) gravel road from the Arnhem Highway; a two-wheel dirt track provides some access within the nature park.

Across Leaning Tree Lagoon. This is one of three groups of Pelicans, this group was standing on the shore apparently watching another group swimming in the middle of the lagoon
Pelicans on the shore of Leaning Tree Lagoon. There are a couple of Spoonbills near the left side of this group.
Leaning Tree Lagoon - page 2
At the time of this visit in June in the cool dry season the lagoon was a pleasant sight. There was still a significant amount of water in the lagoon and several dozen pelicans were standing along the shore or swimming in a tight group sometimes breaking into frantic activity apparently as fish were caught. Around the lagoon a number of easy to see white egrets seemed to think they were invisible if they stood still and two or three Jabiru searched for food with apparently no interest in the sole vehicle near the lagoon.

Half a dozen Agile Wallabies which had been feeding in long grass around the end of the lagoon set off for shelter in the nearby bush in great haste as the Pathfinder approached; I doubt if I have previously seen wallabies moving that fast.

There are no facilities.

Leaning Tree Lagoon is reported to be popular with locals for fishing and boating but there was no obvious sign of these activities at this stage of the dry season. Access to the lagoon for fishing during the dry would be difficult with mud edging the water, especially as salt-water crocodiles are common on the Adelaide River floodplain. To describe the Leaning Tree Lagoon as a boating venue without mentioning seasonal limitations is fanciful to the point of being misleading.

In fact, Leaning Tree Lagoon was remarkable for the lack of any sign of people or their activities. The sole exception to this was the two-wheel track disappearing into the bush behind the lagoon looked as if it was an access track through a locked gate for National Parks; the lagoon surroundings were grassed with trees set well back from the current water level. There were no overhead cables of any sort in view, and even the fences were behind vegetation. The most obvious feature was the birds and they were going about their business paying little attention to people.

GPS Position
Access from Arnhem Highway: - 12° 42' 25.7"S, 131° 25' 12.6"E