Litchfield National Park: The Adventure Begins
Let your adventurous soul loose or enjoy a tranquil escape at Litchfield and Kakadu National Park. Waterfalls cascade from sandstone cliffs, bushwalks trail through forests and grand landforms stand against the blue sky. Follow Wild Weekend as they hike, swim and explore Litchfield before heading to Kakadu.
Your next adventure: Litchfield National Park, Kakadu National Park
Where in the world? Northern Territory, Australia
Activity: Swimming, Hiking, 4WD
Difficulty: Most of the bushwalks at Litchfield National Park are moderately easy but can get a little bit steep in parts. They range from 1km to the epic 39km Tabletop Track for the more adventurous souls out there.
Wrap up: With short and long bushwalks, pristine swimming holes and spectacular scenery, Litchfield National Park is a must-do destination for your Australian adventures.
Litchfield National Park is just a 2 hour drive from Darwin Airport via the township of Batchelor. It was easy to fly in, pick up a 4WD and start our adventure. You'll need a 4WD to navigate the rougher roads so you don't miss out on the spectacular experiences Litchfield has to offer.
Places to stay
Litchfield Sandy Creek Campsite
Nestled amid paperbarks and located just 1.4km from a pristine plunge pool, we found Sandy Creek Campsite. It has basic toilet and shower facilities, plus we had plenty of space to set up our tents, fire and clothesline.
From stunning waterfalls to sandstone plateaus
No matter how many photos or videos you see of Litchfield National Park's waterholes and sandstone plateaus; it doesn't come close to the experience of being there. We spent a couple of days immersing ourselves in the natural wonders of the Park and took a dip in the well-known Florence and Wangi Falls.
We found Florence Falls in a beautiful monsoon forest. It has not one, but two waterfalls that cascade into a pristine swimming hole that can be easily accessed down a staircase. If you're not one for getting your feet wet, you can take in the view from the platform at the top of the falls and check out the easy 1km Shady Creek walk.
On the Western side of the national park, Tolmer Falls spills over a spectacular 40 metre high cliff. We looked out over the falls and down into the bottomless plunge pool from the Tolmer Falls lookout. From here we did an easy 1.6km return walk through sandstone country and past the pristine rock pools at the top of the falls. Swimming isn't permitted at Tolmer Falls, but it's worth a visit just for the view.
Wangi Falls and Walk
Wangi Falls is one of the most popular Litchfield waterholes, but we were lucky enough to enjoy it without too many other visitors. Before jumping in, we walked to the top of the falls to take in the view. The 1.6km return walk starts at Wangi Plunge Pool and is moderately easy, aside from a couple of steep sections. Getting warmed up on the walk will have you well and truly ready to jump in to cool off!
Keep an eye out for…
Crocodiles: although Litchfield is one of the safest National Parks in the Northern Territory when it comes to crocodiles, you should still be vigilant and only swim in designated areas.
Goannas: on one of our walks we were surprised to come across a big Goanna. If you keep your distance they aren't too bothered by your presence and you can get a couple of good photographs.
Sunrise and sunset: be sure to stop and enjoy the display of beautiful colours at sunrise and sunset. You might also catch a glimpse of some shy wildlife fossicking and venturing out as the sun sets – common wildlife around Litchfield include Wallabies, Sugar Gliders, Possums and Dingos.
Snakes: make sure you keep your eye out for snakes when you're exploring and keep your distance if you do come across one.
Eagles: we noticed quite a few eagles soaring overhead, so don't forget to look up!
Tips and Hints from Wild Weekend
- Read the Parks and Wildlife Commission's crocodile safety tips before you go.
- Take some extra rope so you can set up a clothesline between trees at the campsite.
- Make sure your hiking shoes are comfortable and have a decent grip for navigating uneven terrain.
- Wear a waterproof watch so you can keep track of time while you're swimming.
- If you don't have a lantern you can make one using a headlamp and a water bottle. Strap it to the outside of the bottle facing in to distribute the light in your tent.
What we packed
Our KEEN UNEEK Sandals were very comfortable to wear. They had great functionality for crossing water ways such as creeks and pools. The grip on these sandals works well across different surfaces, but, as with all shoes, you'll still want to be careful on wet and slippery rocks.
The Berghaus Wilderness packs are storage giants with an incredibly useful design. We especially liked the front pouch zip as well as the pockets on the pack belt. These were great for storing items we wanted to have quickly on hand – like sunscreen & insect repellent.
I can highly recommend the Mountain Designs Drift Lightweight Longsleeve Shirt for its functional design. It dried quickly from water and sweat, plus has good ventilation from the back pocket.
When you're navigating up and down rock faces you'll want a pair of comfortable boots that support your feet. We took the KEEN Targhee ll Mid Hiking Boots and were very happy with the sturdy and trusty design which helped immensely. They also have good ventilation so we didn't sweat too much.
It was a luxury to have cooled water during a 36 degree hot day hike. Our Klean Kanteen Insulated bottles kept our water cool, even on the longer hikes.
The Mountain Designs Swift Active Caps did a good job keeping the sun off our faces.
We really enjoyed the waterproof feature of our Suunto watches - great to be able to take it swimming. The sunrise/sunset feature was incredibly helpful in planning when to arrive and set up camp.
Shop for your Litchfield gear
The adventure continues as we trek through Kakadu National Park. Keep an eye out for our next video, tips and highlights from part 2 of our trip!