Litchfield National Park

Trip Start Jun 18, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Driving north from Katherine, it soon struck me that Northern Territory drivers don't really care too much for traffic rules.  Speed Limits (it has speed limits these days) are totally ignored, the no overtaking lines are seemingly invisible, everyone tailgates....Still, at a nice 80kmh we didn't have too much to fear, except for the odd Wallaby that wanted to bounce in front of us.

Soon enough we got to Litchfield National Park.  This was one of the first places we knew we wanted to come way back when we were thinking the trip through (as Darwin was going to be our place of entry, rather than Perth).  The first attraction is a field full of Termites.  We've seen various sorts of Termite Nests all the way since Carnarvon, but these were quite neat in that they are positioned to make sure the sun doesn't heat them too much, and as they all face north, they are called Magnetic Termites.  The actual nest is very thin but wide, and not too tall, but interesting enough.

From here we drove down to Wangi Falls, which is apparently the most popular place in the park.  With a short walk you came to a large plunge pool, into which two waterfalls fell.  It was a really nice setting, and so we needed no encouragement to have a relaxing swim.  I say relaxing, within 10 feet of the waterfalls themselves its really hard going!  As it was a long weekend when we visited, due to it being Labour / Picnic Day, there were large groups all over the rocks with beers and food - we saw quite a few people swimming the coolers over!  A nice atmosphere and a nice setting.  Surrounding the falls were large colonies of Fruit Bats, making an absoute racket with their constant "chattering".  I really do like the way they walk about though, upside down.

We stayed overnight in Litchfield Safari Camp.  We made sure to choose the most remote spot there, to have the bushcamp feeling.  We had a great night - the sky was clear, the stars stunning and the various wildlife quite abundant.

The next morning we started at dawn, to get a full day in.  We started with the Walkers Creek hike trail, which followed a crystal clear spring through bushland and rainforest.  The trail ends at the foot of a small waterfall, with a tiny plunge pool to swim in, although at 8am it was a little too cold for that!

Spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon at Florence Falls.  It's more of a trek to the falls, which are better than Wangi, but it does have a smaller, more busy pool.  We watched locals diving from high rocks, then took the walktrail back to the van rather than the 135 steps back up the cliff.

With only more of the same left (albeit very nice, no doubt) we headed out of the park and north to Berry Springs.  We stayed overnight at the Tumbling Waters Holiday Park, which was just fantastic.  The wildlife was incredible - a couple of large Freshwater Crocodiles, tons of Peacocks and Wallabys, some bushwalking trails, plus a large billabong and river running through.  It was great, almost paradise (except for the biting insects!).
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