Litchfield National Park
Australia's Jurassic Park!
WE ARE HERE
Refreshed after having a soak at the nearby Douglas Hot Springs, we were ready to enter Litchfield National Park. Many people will know that Litchfield has 2 main entrances via Bachelor (fully sealed) or Cox Peninsula Rd (with some unsealed sections). But we were coming in from the third entrance. From the south. For another Ausventure on Reynolds 4WD Track.
Reynolds 4WD track runs the south west boundary of the park for 40km. The landscape felt like we were driving through a mini Jurassic Park. Palmed jungles were broken by patches of open savannah. Huge termite mounds systematically dotted the area, orientated from north to south. Along the track you’ll also find a few river crossing (yee-ha!) but don’t go for a swim here as there may be some snappy handbags floating around. You’ll pass Surprise Creek Falls where we stopped to see if there was somewhere cool to take a dip. Surprise, surprise, there was!
A short walk brings you to a 3 tiered waterfall with pools to swim in. Don’t be a silly-human-sausage and go feeding the wildlife though. Always check the water has been surveyed for crocs and is safe to swim (or push your hubby in first!). But seriously, if there is no sign warning of crocs, it DOES NOT mean there are no crocs. Be crocwise, you’re in croc territory now. After the all clear to swim and with the midday sun pounding down with no relief of shade, in we splashed.
Next along Reynolds 4WD track is Sandy Creek. Around 30 minutes walk and the path will open up to Tjaynera Falls. Huge boulders scattered by the force of wet season rains lay below the year round flow of water. We’d checked the signs, and it was ok to swim, but we hesitantly waited for someone else, anyone, to get in first (…just in case!). We swam to the bottom of the cascading falls and let the sound of the pounding water silence the outside world.
Out along the more travelled bitumen areas of the park, you may find more people. But that hasn’t trampled the beautiful waterfalls. Apparently TLC never visited Litchfield, because if they had, surely they wouldn’t be preaching ‘don’t go chasing waterfalls’ (oh dang, was that a bad Dad joke?!)
Buley Rockholes were packed. However, we had arrived on the weekend, during the dry season…in school holidays! So what else could we expect? Still we found a cool sanctuary to sink in before walking the short track through monsoonal forest to Florence Falls.
Wangi is probably the most accessible waterfall to see and swim in at Litchfield, with picnic spots and ramps into the water. Encased by the screeches coming from high in the palm trees, you’ll hear why early explorers were terrified by the ‘sounds of Dracula’. Don’t fear, they’re simply coming from the hordes of Fruit Bats! Walking the loop track around the top of the falls will give you a break from the crowds, but not the sun, so be prepared.
There ain’t no entrance fee at Litchfield National Park and camping fees are eye boggling cheap ($6.60 per adult, $3.30 for kids). So if you’re in Darwin town, make the 120km drive south for the day. Or stay a few nights, and enjoy a campfire under the stars.
Our next blog will be from: Kakadu
Until our next update - see you on / off the road 😉
Cassie and Micky