Litchfield National Park
Litchfield National Park is located in the Northern Territory of Australia. Litchfield, or Litchy as it is affectionately known, is a gorgeous natural wonderland set in the outback, about 130kms away from Darwin. Patches of monsoon rainforest thrive in the deep, narrow gorges created over thousands of years. Wildlife such as wallabies and birds flourish in the Park and can often be seen while travelling through. Gigantic termite mounds stand up to 6 meters tall, others grow in a north-south orientation, acting as a built in temperature controlled micro environment.
Litchfield is probably most famous for its spring fed waterfalls which flow all year round. Below the cascading waterfalls of the sandstone plateau are crystal-clear swimming holes lined with pandanas palms and paper bark trees. These are great places to escape the heat and take in the area by swimming and snorkeling.
Buley Rockhole and Florence Falls are undoubtedly Litchfield’s most visited swimming spots as they are easily accessed by short walks through monsoonal forest and are basically open all year round for swimming.
Given the distance, you will need a car to get there, or failing that, you could jump on one of the tours that visit regularly. Another important aspect is that the Territory runs on two seasons – the wet and the dry . If you are planning a visit, then you are going to want to visit in the dry season (April/May – September/October) which is when the Territory comes alive! Litchfield is closed in the wet season so that is yet another reason to visit in the dry. With multiple waterfalls, camping areas, hikes and 4WD tracks there is so much to see here at the park.
We parked at Florence Falls and walked up the path to Buley Rockhole, stopping at some of the quieter water spots to cool off along the way. As you follow the path, just look out for the posts which will lead you into these quieter spots. We took our time and explored each little area. After a quick swim at the Buley Rockhole, which is one of the more popular swimming areas, we ventured back down the path and took the stairs down to Florence Falls.
There is a great lookout before the stairs which gives a stunning vantage point of the water wonderland that you are about to swim in.
Florence Falls was magical! We got straight into the cool, clear waters enjoying the beauty of the waterfalls in front of us – and we weren’t the only ones. Swimming with us were locals and travelers alike all laughing, taking photos and enjoying their time in the water.
Last stop for the morning was Wangi Falls, and based on the number of people there the most popular, which quite deserves as they are really quite stunning. This is also a popular swimming spot with plenty of groups setting up for the day as there are nice lawns and bbq’s at the entrance.
Driving around the National Park there are certainly no shortages of warnings to only swim in the designated spots due to crocodiles. Every little creek crossing on the roads had crocodile warning signs..
The next day we decided to hit the 4WD tracks around Litchfield and our first stop was the Lost City. We got there around 9am and we were the only ones there which were quite surprising for Litchfield, and even better people only started arriving as we were driving out. There is a very easy loop walk of around 500 metres that takes you through the rock formations and it does look like a Lost City with mini sky scrapers and buildings toppled over.
From here we drove down to the Blyth Homestead, an outstation that was established in 1928. Inside there is a good storybook of the family, outlining the hardships they faced back in those days. It really makes you realize how easy our lives are compared to how these people used to live. From there was a short drive down to the termite mounds.
We definitely recommend a visit to the Litchfield National Park if you are visiting Darwin, pack a lunch and enjoy the day exploring. You will not regret it!