Loving Litchfield

“You’ll have to jump from the rocks” the blonde surfy looking guy says to me, “it’s ten metres high”. Hmm, that’s a good reason not to, I think. He obviously hadn’t read the sign.

Whilst I’ve been known to flaunt a few rules in my time, usually in the name of adventure, common sense generally prevails. I’m happy to swim in calm waters rather than jumping off haphazard cliff ledges.

Maybe I’m just a chicken!

We’re in Litchfield National Park, our next stop from Darwin, just 1.5 hours away. It’s a spectacular part of the Northern Territory, a waterfall wonderland, and we’re keen to explore it, in our own sedate way.

As usual, we stayed longer than intended, five nights. Here are some of the highlights and the reasons we loved Litchfield.

The Waterfalls

It’s true, Litchfield is all about the jaw dropping waterfalls. They flow into crystal clear waters all year round and the two most popular ones, Wangi Falls and the double tiered Florence Falls are simply stunning.

It’s an easy walk to Wangi Falls for a refreshing swim with the added bonus of a cafe on site and lush picnic grounds. At Florence Falls 135 steps lead you down to the bottom of the waterfall where it was super busy. Granted it was nearly midday. I’m sure that if you camped there and got to the falls early it would be less crowded and more peaceful. Still, both waterfalls are beautiful.

Short and long Walks

There’s a smorgasbord of walks in the park from easy trails to long treks. We’ve usually got our bathers on underneath our shorts as most walks culminate in a swim at the end of it. Every day was so bloody hot!

Many waterfalls are easily accessible but as we discovered the longer you walk the more chance you have of enjoying it minus the crowds.

If you’re looking for a real bushwalking challenge, the epic 39km wilderness Tabletop Track takes the cake but I’ll leave that one for the hiking enthusiasts.

Awesome Camping

Batchelor Holiday Park was our tropical haven with our bush site complete with power and water. We’re surrounded by palm trees, abundant bird life and feel cocooned in an oasis. Close by is the pub, a general store and museum and the entrance to the National Park is not far away.

For those who prefer to stay within the National Park itself there are plenty of campgrounds, with the major ones at Wangi and Florence Falls. There’s a minimal fee with toilet and shower facilities but the best bit is the close proximity to the falls.

Given there’s no generators allowed in the National Park and every day was at least 37C we were content with our powered site at Batchelor and doing day-trips.

Did I mention Swimming?

Litchfield has some of the wildest swimming holes and I think we swam in most of them. Not just Wangi Falls and Florence Falls but the Cascades, the plunge pools of Blueys Waterhole, Surprise Creek Falls … so many.

My favourite was probably the lower cascades as there was hardly anyone there and the walk through the rainforest was a gentle one. We even saw a goanna on the way.

We are all naturally seekers of wonders. We travel far to see the majesty of old ruins, the venerable forms of the hoary mountains, great waterfalls, and galleries of art. And yet the world’s wonder is all around us; the wonder of setting suns, and evening stars, of the magic spring-time, the blossoming of the trees, the strange transformations of the moth.” – Albert Pike

Four Wheel Driving

Head to The Lost City for a look at some incredible rock formations that look like an ancient forgotten city. It’s classified as 4WD only though the track was pretty easy. In the wet season it’s closed.

Another great drive is the Reynolds Track, just before the Wangi Falls turnoff. It’s 44kms and along the way you’ll visit ruins, ford river crossings and traverse extraordinary Magnetic termite mound country before arriving at Surprise Creek Falls.

It was there we saw some pretty acrobatic somersaulting off the rocks and into the deep pools.

A Day of Rest

So, what do you do when you suddenly come down with a bug? First Doug got it, then I caught it, inevitable I guess when we’re in such close quarters. I think it was caught back in the thermal waters of Berry Springs.

Answer: we extend our stay for another day. I did the laundry then whacked on the air con in the van and we had a restful day. The hammock outside helped too. A bit of quiet time and rest is always good.

That night we got the news that Greater Darwin and Katherine had been placed into a three day snap lockdown. Had we left yesterday, as originally planned, we would have ended up at Safeway Katherine (an apparent hotspot) and been forced to quarantine for 14 days. Seems the Gods are smiling on us again and that me getting sick and needing an extra day to rest here had served a greater purpose.

Everything happens for a reason and the saying that “we’re exactly where we need to be” at any moment in time is so very true. The Universe has our back.

Going with the Flow

Since writing the above we’ve moved on from the Northern Territory. We’ve gone through numerous police check points and got transit permits before passing through Katherine and staying at Victoria River overnight. Yesterday, after a 4.5 hour wait to travel one kilometre and get through security at the border, we finally crossed into Western Australia.

We’re currently in self isolation/ quarantine in Wyndham, awaiting test results before being able to travel again. Our journey may have slowed, but it’s all an experience, an amazing adventure and I’m forever grateful.

Update: We got a call with our negative covid test results tonight which means we’re FREE and can resume our travels.

Look at this magnificent Boab tree, reputedly 2000 years old, right in front of our camp site, reminding us of the strength we all have.

See you next time as we continue our adventure and road trip around Australia.

Sending love and light.

A bouquet of lorikeets at Bachelor Holiday Park
The lookout at Florence Falls before descending

54 thoughts on “Loving Litchfield

  1. Well, I’m certainly happy you didn’t jump off the cliff, Miriam. With my fear of heights, I could never take the plunge. I’m sorry to hear you both caught a bug. Derek has some kind of summer bug, not sure what it is. He never gets sick. I hope you’re feeling back to normal soon. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos! The waterfalls are beautiful. Safe travels! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jill. We’re slowly on the mend but, as with all bugs, it just needs to run its course. Hope Derek’s better soon too. And for sure, there was no way I was jumping off that cliff! 😀 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad that you didn’t jump off from the rocks. It isn’t being a chicken. It just means that you are being sensible. I wouldn’t have done it either. I hope the results come back negative. The waterfalls look beautiful. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. and what an adventure, so glad you got into WA as I’d heard it was nearly impossible! I don’t recall any of those modern facilities at Litchfield but then I visited very soon after it opened … now 30 years ago 🙂

    It’s obviously grown in popularity as it should … didn’t know about that Lost City, how spectacular 🙂 Thanks for sharing Miriam, grateful to enjoy your travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kate, yes Litchfield was amazing. As for WA, it’s a bit crazy how difficult the process is to cross borders now. You wouldn’t believe it’s the same country from a few years ago. So yes, I’m very grateful we’re here. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Two brilliant books on the Colonial era and how a poor Irish Catholic family first settled in Goulburn then worked their way up, both geographically and financially through western Qld to the Kimberley to become great pastoralists. To put it bluntly they pretty well threw Mum on the wagon and off they went. A must read for caravanners as it explains so much of what we see in our travels and both books are absolute page turners even though they aren’t fiction. Both books are available on Kindle. Their last homestead was dismantled and moved for the building of Lake Argyle and can be visited on the road out there.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Oh, what a great summary and teaser. Thanks for the recommendation. I actually downloaded the first book on my kindle yesterday. Perfect time to start it!


  4. I am in awe of the places you have been able to visit! The beauty is incredible. And I’m so glad that you’re finding a way to travel, even in these crazy times. The Covid virus is going to be with us for a long, long time, so I do think we need to find a way to live (and I mean live, not merely exist) with it. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ann. I couldn’t agree more with you. It saddens me that so many are being forced to lock themselves away instead of enjoying our God given rights to breath and live our lives. It’s time we let go of the fear, stopped believing the governments and take responsibility for ourself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I was. I suicide boarded the Pacific Winter storms for three years and free-climbed any mountain near for 10 years. My favorite place to free climb was the fault line in California. I cliff jumped in my youth. Now my grandchildren do. You are welcome and life is to test life dear Miriam.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re a fine role model to your grandkids John. Nature keeps us grounded to all that’s pure. And yes, definitely good to test life and have fun. Good night from West Australia!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow Miriam, how good are your travels? I loved going to Litchfield National park, a few years ago and vowed to return. Looking at your photos tells me I must do it sooner rather than later!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Seems the Gods are smiling on us again” Oh I love this simple line, isn’t it amazing how things work out when we listen to our bodies, and slow down….also smart woman for not jumping off the cliff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gorgeous pictures and the start made me smile with someone enthusiastic to jump with signs clearly on. It’s important to respect the rules. Glad you guys are safe.

    Liked by 1 person

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