Litchfield National Park Accommodation, Hotels, Tours & Information

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Litchfield National Park

About 2 hours to Darwin"s south is Litchfield National Park with 15,000 square kilometres of weathered and ancient landscapes, magnetic termite mounds, warm year-round swimming in plunge pools, pleasant delightful bush walks and 4WD tracks. It can be reached by taking the turn off from the Stuart Highway to the township of Batchelor, the gateway to the National Park.

There are two distinct seasons in the Top End: the dry, cool season from May to October and the hot, wet season from November to April. The months of October and November are called the 'build-up' and are the hottest and driest times of the year. The drier times are better suited for a day-trip from Darwin, or overnight camping expedition to the area.

Originally the home of the Wagait people, European expeditions were made into the wild countryside in search of minerals. Until 1955, copper and tin was mined here, when the land was turned over to pastoral leases. In 1983, it was proclaimed a national park.

Scenic waterfalls with deep, crystal-clear plunge pools at their base are present year-round, for pleasant swimming and camping. Most popular of these is Wangi Falls. Be aware that that there can be freshwater crocodiles, who are fortunately more bashful than their estuarine cousins. Forests around the falls are scored with short and longer bushwalking trails.

Weathered sandstone escarpments and black soil plains, dotted with fascinating magnetic termite mounds, contrast with patches of monsoonal rainforest. The remote locations such as Tjaynera Falls (Sandy Creek) and the ancient sandstone formations of "The Lost City" are accessible on four-wheel drive tracks.

Stop-off points with display boards are well-marked along the sealed network of roads through the park, making it easy to learn more about the history and ecology of this remarkable area.

Be sure to take plenty of water, sunscreen and insect repellant. Also take care to read warning signs near swimming spots.

Things to do:

  • Wangi Falls - has a large plunge pool with year-round flowing water, camping area, large grass picnic area and kiosk.
  • Florence Falls - steep stairs down to the pool allow great views of the top of the falls and camping is available near-by.
  • Tolmer Falls - has a 1.5 km walking track which afford wonderful views of the area. No swimming.
  • Buley rockhole - a series of cascading pools from a sandstone plateau
  • Tjayera Falls (Sandy Creek Falls) - pretty falls in a rainforest that is accessible by 4WD, bushwalking and bush-camping
  • The &dbquo;Lost City&dbquo; - freestanding sandstone pillar and block formation that looks like the ruins of an ancient city. The track is rough and rocky. Experience with 4WD vehicles advised.
  • Magnetic Termite Mounds - are dotted throughout the park
  • Tabletop Swamp - a wetlands area in the Tabletop Ranges. Better seen in the wet season.
  • Cascades - Pethericks Rainforest Reserve, a privately run area with wreckage of spitfire fighter, and is home to a colony of fruit bats. Entry fee applies.
  • Bamboo Creek Tin Mine - remains of an industrial tin mine from 1906, now heritage listed.
  • Blyth Homestead Ruins - a reminder of tough pioneering conditions of 1929. Access via 4WD track.
  • Litchfield National Park: Where To Go / Sightseeing

    Tjaynera/Sandy Creek Falls

    Escape to the serenity of Tjaynera Falls/Sandy Creek Falls in the magnificent Litchfield National Park, 90 kilometres south of Darwin as the crow flies.

    From the car park (that was the site of a timber cutting camp in the mid-1990s) walk the 1.4 kilometres through the open valley lined with paperbarks to relax in the plunge at the base of the falls. Enjoy the stunning views of the open valley, sit down to a picnic lunch or take a refreshing dip in the clear waters of the plunge pool beneath the falls. Accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicle, these falls attract less traffic than the readily accessible cascades and pools elsewhere in the park, and with campground facilities, make for an idyllic spot for a weekend away.

    The Falls are located 1.7 kilometres south of Blyth Homestead, in the western portion of the park, a structure built in 1929 and serves as a reminder of the tough conditions faced by the early pioneers.

    off Litchfield Park Road,
    Litchfield National Park, via
    Batchelor, NT, 0845

    Located 14.6K from Litchfield National Park

    Blyth Homestead

    The historic Blyth Homestead is found within Litchfield National Park, and is also the location of an old tin mine, which is now in ruins. The homestead site serves as a reminder of the tough conditions faced by pioneers in remote areas.

    Built by the Sargent Family in 1929, the homestead was abandoned in the early 1960s. It has recently been restored and an interpretive display presents the trials and tragedies of this remote site. Please note that access to the homestead is by four-wheel drive only and may be inaccessible between November through to April due to the tropical season.

    Litchfield National Park,
    off Litchfield Park Road, via
    Batchelor, NT, 0845

    Located 17.2K from Litchfield National Park

    The Lost City - Litchfield National Park

    The Lost City is a series of large sandstone outcrops that evoke the remains of an ancient civilisation. A spectacular sight, this landmark is located in a remote and hard to access area in Litchfield National Park, just over an hour's drive from Darwin.

    Experienced four-wheel drivers will have their skills tested on the 8-10 kilometre track into The Lost City. Come to marvel at this natural structure, formed by thousands of years of wind and rain erosion, whose walls, narrow passages and domes give the impression that they were man made. Be astounded at the extensive nature of this formation, the complex freestanding sandstone block and pillar formations of the Lost City are spread over an area the size of a small town, and look like the ruins of a city with a maze of narrow alleys. Lay your hand against a sandstone wall that is estimated to be over 500 million years old.

    The track to The Lost City is extremely rocky and rough, and sometimes impassable in the wet season. Only people experienced in handling four-wheel drive vehicles should attempt the journey to the Lost City. The approach road is single-lane and leads past numerous termite hills.

    off Litchfield Park Road,
    Batchelor, NT, 0845

    Located 18.6K from Litchfield National Park

    Tolmer Falls

    Tolmer Falls is one of the most spectacular falls in the magnificent Litchfield National Park. It cascades over two high escarpments into one deep plunge pool. Accessed by sealed road, the falls are located near the western boundary of the park, 85 kilometres south of Darwin as the crow flies.

    A short walk takes you to a viewing platform at the top of the most spectacular waterfalls in the park. This marks the starting point of the 1.6 kilometre return Tolmer Falls Walk - an easy walk (that is rocky in parts) that takes about 45 minutes. Follow the path through typical Top End sandstone country and along Tolmer Creek and a tributary, past pristine small rock pools. Swimming is not permitted above the falls.

    Explorer Frederick Henry Litchfield named the falls after his late father's colleague in the South Australia Police, Alexander Tolmer.

    off Litchfield Park Road,
    Litchfield National Park, via
    Batchelor, NT, 0845

    Located 19.5K from Litchfield National Park

    Magnetic Termite Mounds

    One of Litchfield National Park's most impressive sights is the hundreds of termite mounds standing up to two metres high in a wide swathe of empty ground. Up to 100 years old, these structures are unique to the northern parts of Australia and Litchfield National Park, 120 kilometres south of Darwin.

    Stroll through the area and marvel at what are enormous magnetic compasses, with their thin edges pointing north-south and broad backs east-west. This aspect minimises their exposure to the sun, keeping the mounds cool for the magnetic termites inside. Learn about the large cathedral termite mound nearby at an information shelter that provides a fascinating insight into these remarkable creatures and their habitat.

    About 17 kilometres from the eastern boundary of the Park you'll come to the first major group. A viewing area with accessible boardwalks has been constructed just off Litchfield Park Road in the northern area of the Park. Follow them to get close to the two metre-high, thin Magnetic Termite Mounds, and giant taller four metre high Cathedral Termite Mounds. You will see numerous termite mounds as you explore the NT, but Litchfield National Park is a perfect place to see both specimens.

    Litchfield Park Road,
    Litchfield National Park, via
    Batchelor, NT, 0845

    Located 19.8K from Litchfield National Park

    Buley Rockhole

    Enjoy a refreshing swim in the cascading pools of Buley Rockhole.
    This popular swimming spot, in the magnificent Litchfield National Park, is a great place to wind down after exploring the park. Wade through the pools, absorb the scenic bush surrounds or sit and relax, as the cool water rolls over your shoulders. Open for most of the year, camping is available with toilet facilities.

    Litchfield National Park,
    off Litchfield Park Road, via
    Batchelor, NT, 0845

    Located 20.9K from Litchfield National Park

    Tjaetaba Falls

    Take the enjoyable Greenant Creek Walk to the top of Tjaetaba Falls in Litchfield National Park. This attractive waterway is one of the smaller systems in the park. It's also a serene place to sit and appreciate the bushland surrounds with a picnic lunch or spot the local wildlife such as wallaroos (small kangaroo). Picnic tables are located between Greenant Creek and the car park.

    Please note - Tjaetaba Falls and the area below them is an Aboriginal sacred site and visitors are requested to respect the custodian's wishes and only swim above the falls.

    off Litchfield Park Road,
    Litchfield National Park, via
    Batchelor, NT, 0845

    Located 21.4K from Litchfield National Park

    Florence Creek Walk

    Florence Creek Walk is a 3.2 kilometre walk between Florence Falls and Buley Rockhole in Litchfield National Park. You can start the walk at either end and follow the trail through cool monsoon rainforest. As you go, look out for birdlife, including kingfishers, honey-eaters, fairy-wrens and pigeons. Other wildlife to spot includes brown bandicoots and northern quolls. Or you might be lucky enough to see black flying foxes (bats) roosting in the trees.

    The easy Florence Creek Walk should take you only 90 minutes to complete. At either end you can swim safely in the plunge pool at Florence Falls or the series of waterfalls and rock holes at Buley Rockhole.

    The Florence Creek Walk is part of the longer 39 kilometre Tabletop Track, a three-five day circuit walk that starts at Wangi Falls and follows the course of Walker Creek through open woodland and masses of cycads to Florence Falls. From there it returns to Wangi Falls via stringy barks, paperbarks and pandanus.

    off Litchfield Park Road,
    Litchfield National Park, via
    Batchelor, NT, 0845

    Located 22.4K from Litchfield National Park

    Florence Falls

    Located in Litchfield National Park, the spectacular Florence Falls cascade into a plunge pool, set in a pocket of monsoon forest. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters of the pool, then enjoy a scenic walk to the viewing platform high above the falls for panoramic views of the open valley and the waterhole below.

    Take the easy 3 minute walk from the car park to the lookout to survey the gorge and excellent views of Florence Falls. Note the contrast between the wet monsoon forest and the dry sandstone plateau. Or stretch your legs by following the gorge rim walk down the stairs to the valley floor. A seat at the halfway mark gives you a chance for a breather and a photo. Continue on to the plunge pool for a refreshing dip year-round.

    The Shady Creek walk will loop you back, along a stream and through the rainforest-filled gorge, then through the woodlands back to Florence Creek. Bring a picnic and stop here for a break, complete with the sound of the creek bubbling past. It's then just a short stroll to the car park.

    off Litchfield Park Road,
    Litchfield National Park, via
    Batchelor, NT, 0845

    Located 22.4K from Litchfield National Park

    Wangi Falls

    Wangi Falls is the best-known and most popular attraction in Litchfield National Park - a park renowned for its accessible and pristine natural beauty. Accessible by sealed road, the falls are found near the western boundary of the park, 80 kilometres south of Darwin.

    Sit on the expansive manicured lawns of the picnic area and watch the water of the two falls cascade over the rock escarpments into the large plunge pool below. Take a dip in the pool, which is surrounded by lush monsoon rainforest. There is a kiosk, camping ground with hot showers and barbecues nearby.

    There are various walking tracks, including a three kilometre track that takes you up over the falls and back to the car park. The falls can be closed to swimming periodically, especially during the tropical summer from October to March, as currents in the pool can become strong and dangerous, but the fast-flowing falls make for spectacular photography. At these times the kiosk and picnic facilities remain open.

    Wangi Falls Road,
    Litchfield National Park, via
    Batchelor, NT, 0845

    Located 24.5K from Litchfield National Park

    Litchfield National Park Map

    Litchfield National Park Map - Legend
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