Explore Litchfield National Park (BL82)
Litchfield National Park covers some 1500 square km about 100km south of Darwin. It was here I met up with friends from Perth and as they had a 4wd we explored the park in their vehicle, having based ourselves at a Caravan Park in Batchelor ($36pn powered).
First stop in the Park was at the Magnetic/Cathederal Termite Mounds. These termite mounds stand up to 2 metres in height and have a north-south orientation. This controls the temperature throughout the day by exposing the least amount of surface area to the sun. Buley Waterhole was our next stop which is a series of small waterfalls and rock holes. The area was pretty busy on the day and being fairly early in the day I didn’t swim at this one.
The Florence Falls walk was a gradual descent to the falls followed by a steep ascent via stairs. The Falls itself were amazing and very popular. Again didn’t swim in this one. The viewing platform above the stairs gives an appreciation of the size of the waterfall.
Having access to a 4wd was great as I was able to see The Lost City as it is 10.5km off the main road along a rough sandy track. It truly looks like an ancient lost city with huge sandstone pillars piled on top of each other. As you walk around the track you see different “buildings” from different angles and it is truly amazing how some has been washed and worn away while what you see remains.
Tabletop Swamp was interesting as it is still called for what it is – a swamp, not a Wetlands as you will find in my home state of Western Australia. We didn’t spot too much birdlife but perhaps it was just the wrong time of the day.
We walked the full circular track to the viewing area of the Tolmer Falls. This is an extremely deep divide and gives a great panoramic view of the distant falls which cascade over two escarpments.
It was late in the day when we got to Wangi Falls and this is the most popular place to swim. The swim across the freshwater to the falls was lovely in the late afternoon sunshine. This would be a great spot to spend a full day with Café and picnic areas. There is a 1.6km return walk here but we didn’t have the time to do this .
There were a few more falls and walk trails (some only accessible by 4wd) within the park that we didn’t have time to do in one day. You need at least a couple of days here to fully explore the park. Some Darwin locals consider Litchfield a much better park to visit than Kakadu. Not having visited Kakadu I can’t comment on that but I did enjoy Litchfield and will return there again on my next visit to the Northern Territory.