The secret is out: as Territorians have long known, Litchfield National Park is every bit as enigmatic and awe-inspiring as Kakadu, albeit on a smaller scale. Barely a stone’s throw from Darwin, the Greater Litchfield Loop takes you through some of the most unique habitats on the planet.
Darwin to Batchelor – 150 kilometres
As you sweep south of Darwin, your first port of call along the Greater Litchfield Loop is Batchelor, with a detour through Adelaide River. This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it outback town is home to the Adelaide River Railway Heritage precinct and the Adelaide River War Cemetery, the only Australian war cemetery on home soil.
Batchelor to Litchfield National Park – 15 kilometres
Litchfield is home to spring-fed rock pools, larger-than-life termite mounds, sandstone plateaus with panoramic views, cascading falls, and secluded waterholes, which are blessedly croc-free for your bathing pleasure.
Litchfield is smaller than Kakadu and feels much more manageable to explore, but we’d recommend setting aside at least a full day or two to savour the park’s beauty. If you’re an intrepid traveller, why not tackle the challenging (but oh-so-worth-it) three-day long Tabletop Track bushwalk? Be warned: this trek is not suitable for novice hikers, but the shorter walks that link to the track and other sites in the park are.
Litchfield National Park to Dundee Beach – 130 kilometres
If you’re an avid angler, picturesque Dundee Beach might just be your happy place. This tranquil slice of coast is famed as one of the world’s single best blue-water fishing spots, with an abundance of ‘barra’ (barramundi). You can either join a fishing charter boat tour or hire your own vessel for a day on the water.
Dundee Beach to Darwin – 130 kilometres
To break up the one-and-a-half-hour journey back to the Territory capital, why not indulge in winsome outback hospitality along the way? Our top picks include the Darwin River Tavern, just outside Tumbling Waters, where you can tuck into some unpretentious and downright delicious pub favourites. Another eatery to keep on your radar is the Humpty Doo Hotel, immortalised in song by none other than Slim Dusty.