Guests gently wallowing in the infinity pool at Bamurru Plains gaze out onto one of the nation's most spectacular vistas. Beyond the glimmering watery edge stretches a sublime natural wonder of waterlogged plains teeming with wildlife ranging from crocodiles to water buffalo, barramundi and hundreds of bird species.
The lodge and its smattering of simple, stylish bungalows lie on the fringe of the floodplain and exude a refined casual elegance seamlessly melding nature and luxury.
For head chef I Made Mustika, the location is a daily inspiration.
"From the kitchen hobs I have a stunning view of the beautiful bush landscape surrounding me, so even when I'm working and preparing food I can take in the floodplains, the exotic birds and wildlife that feature heavily at Bamurru," he says.
For Made, his food is about reconnecting guests to the bush and his creations are often native-Australian inspired dishes incorporating bush spices and locally caught seafood such as barramundi.
"At Bamurru we have access to an abundance of fresh ingredients and great flavours such as wonderful Northern Territory seafood, bush spices and plants, which we work regularly into our menus.
"I experiment with bush tucker and ingredients on a daily basis and bring elements of our surroundings into the menu for our guests. It's one of the great parts of the job, to have access to such a vast and wonderful natural pantry of spices, plants and produce," he says.
For guests, great food starts early with a breakfast potentially featuring freshly baked wild berry and wattle seeds muffins or "bush eggs'' served on sourdough toast with bacon, tomato, warrigal green and kutjera relish.
A house blend bircher muesli with manuka honey, bush apple, rhubarb and a dollop of vanilla bean yoghurt also kicks the day off rather nicely.
By dinnertime in the communal dining environment, where guests exchange tales from their day on safari, Made's creations could include barramundi chowder and mud crab ravioli or his favourite, duck confit with bush spices.
Quintessentially local fare might include kangaroo skewers, crispy skinned barramundi with finger lime salsa or quandong ice-cream.
As for guests visiting at this time of year, ingredients in abundance include prawns, barramundi, crocodile and buffalo.
"We create our seasonal menus around what's naturally in abundance and available," Made concludes.
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