Litchfield National Park is a must-visit destination if you are staying in Darwin. The park is home to incredible waterfalls, monsoon rainforest and hundreds of magnetic termite mounds that are unique to the Northern Territory. To give you an added incentive, the park’s best bits can be explored within a day!
9 am: Magnetic termite mounds
The Magnetic Termite Mounds are the perfect first stop upon entry to Litchfield National Park. They are roughly two hours from Darwin and 15 minutes from the eastern boundary of the park. The Termite Mounds are clearly signposted and can be easily accessed via a sealed road. Follow the constructed boardwalks to view hundreds of Magnetic Termite Mounds that are up to 100 years old and spread across a flat plain.
10 am: Buley Rockhole
From the Magnetic Termite Mounds, follow the signs along Litchfield Park Road and turn right to reach Buley Rockhole. In just over 15 minutes, you will discover a tropical swimming oasis. Buley Rockhole is a short walk from the designated car park and boasts a collection of ancient rock pools, which stagger down from a waterfall with rapid cascades in between.
11 am: Florence Falls
Florence Falls is a 10-minute drive from Buley Rockhole and is a popular year-round swimming spot. From the car park, there is a 160-step staircase leading to the swimming area. For those who do not wish to swim, there is a viewing platform three minutes from the car park that provides a panoramic view of the waterfall and tree canopies.
1.30 pm: Wangi Falls
Half an hour’s drive from Florence Falls is Wangi Falls, Litchfield’s most popular waterfall and swimming hole. After a short walk from the car park, you can expect to see crowds of visitors gathering to swim, hike and relax. Upon entry, you can easily see why the area is so popular. Twin cascades fall over rock escarpments into a generous pool of crystal-clear water.
2.30 pm: The Cascades
The Cascades is less popular than neighbouring attractions as it is more difficult to access; however, the hike is well worth the effort to escape the crowds. The designated car park to the Cascades is only a 10-minute drive from Wangi Falls. From the car park, there is an option to walk to the Lower Cascades (2.6 kilometres return) or to the Upper Cascades (four kilometres return).
4.30 pm: Darwin via Berry Springs
Instead of driving directly back to Darwin, stop at Berry Springs on the way. Berry Springs is about an hour from the Cascades and only 45 minutes from Darwin. Check the road conditions before entering, as the road leading into the Springs is partially dirt and may be affected by weather conditions. Berry Springs is a great spot for swimming, birdwatching and relaxing by the water.
For more information on how to explore Litchfield National Park in a day, check out the Spring 2021 edition of Caravanning Australia.
Image courtesy of Tourism NT and Sean Scott