Florence Falls: Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

Posted on April 11, 2016

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I’m writing this post very retrospectively. It’s been a great many years since I arrived in Darwin, with just a week to spare, borrowed a four wheel drive and found places that I still daydream about to this day. The energy of the Northern Territory is contained in a very precious nook in my heart. I promised the red earth I’d be back. And I will be. Next time for far longer. Next time I plan to camp and be still by some of the phenomenal watering holes. My first trip was rushed and I slept in motels, not having equipment.

More experienced now, I would, next time, make sure I was able to camp, to be surrounded by the sights and sounds without the barrier or walls.

Litchfield National Park was just the beginning of my journey in the Northern Terriory, which led me to hot springs in the Katherine region and other less populated swimming spots in the vicinity of Kakadu.

But that short week I had, finding some of the most beautiful places I’ve seen, gave me a taste of the heart of my country. As the red earth coated the car windows and dusted the soles of my feet I fell in love. I came to a deeper understanding of spirit in the land, in the way our traditional land owners do. It’s there, powerful and potent. I shed tears driving through dust down seemingly endless stretches of road. The sense of connection, openness and possibility pulsed. I felt reverence for Country.

I do still have a backlog of places to upload from my travels in the NT. It was years back and I’ve neglected to sift through photos. I’m getting there. It’s a lovely way of remembering. My photos are not ideal. My camera wasn’t the best and one can’t truly get a sense of place unless your spirit is there nestled up close to the land.

If you head this way, go with an open heart. Allow the land to change you.

 

Where: In the Litchfield National park, just 100 km south west of Darwin, in the Northern Territory.

Getting to the spot: Ideally you’ll need a car (unless you hop on a tour bus). Even better if you have a 4WD – you won’t miss out on some amazing swimming spots that need a robust vehicle and come clearance.

Litchfield National Park is near the town of Batchelor. The Park is generally accessible all year (sealed roads) via Batchelor. In the dry season it is also possible to get to the Park via Cox Peninsula Road (which is unsealed).

Litchfield National Park is clearly marked on maps. More specific information about local conditions and tours will be available from the tourist bureau in Darwin.

There’s a 160 step staircase down to the swimming area, there is also a viewing platform at the top of the Falls.

It’s a good idea to check online for road closures and what areas of the park may be open or closed depending on weather and rainfall.

About the spot: Think crystal clear water, huge waterfalls, fish and pinching yourself that you’re not in heaven. Litchfield National Park is a tourist attraction and is particularly busy during school holiday  times. If you’re after peace and quiet it’s best to avoid these periods.

Accommodation: Camping is possible in Litchfield National Park at Wangi Falls, Buley Rockhole and Florence Falls.

4WD camping areas (dry season only) at Tjaynera Falls (Sandy Creek), Surprise Creek Falls and downstream from Florence Falls.

Walk-in camping sites are available along Walker Creek (dry season only).

Darwin and Katherine, nearby towns, will have a variety of other accommodation.

Facilities: There is a cafe in the national park and facilities are peppered throughout.

Dogs: Nope! It’s a national park.

About the area: As far as I’m concerned in you are in the Northern Territory you’re in paradise. The land is breathtaking. Red earth meets a sky full of stars and Country holds the stories of Australia’s traditional land owners. Litchfield itself is riddled with waterfalls and swimming spots. I’ve only been to a couple myself as time was not on my side. I will be back and I will be exploring for far longer than I did the last time! The whole Northern Territory area (except Northern Kakadu where there’s salt water crocodiles to stop you swimming) is full of mind blowing swimming spots. Waterfalls and hot springs abound. My heart is still floating up there somewhere, stolen by the precious red earth and life-ful water.

Nearby known swimming spots: 

Wangi Falls,Tjaynera Falls, Walker Creek, Cascades, Buley Rockhole and Suprise Creek Falls are all in the Litchfield National Park.

In the Northern Territory region there is also:

Darwin region: Berry Springs, Howard Springs

Kakadu region: Gunlom, Jim Jim Falls,

In Nitmiluk National Park region: Leilyn (Edith Gorge), Katherine Gorge, Crystal Falls, Sweetwater Pool, 17 Mile Falls, Biddlecomb Cascades, Katherine Hot Spring

Elsey National Park region: Bitter Springs, Mataranka Rainbow Springs, 4 Mile, Mulurark, Jalmurark Campground.

Limmen National Park region: Butterfly Springs

Other spots close by: Butterfly Gorge Nature Park, Douglas Hot Springs, ‘The Arches’ and ‘The Waterhole’ (near Douglas Daly Tourist Park), Manton Dam Recreation Area

Umbrawarra Gorge Nature Park.

See these nearby places on the Confessions Map.

Nearby towns: Darwin, Katherine, Batchelor, Pine Creek.

Be sure to follow the Confessions Code when visiting this beautiful place.

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