You don’t need to travel far from Darwin to immerse yourself in the magnificent landscapes and history of the Australian outback – it’s all there to experience in Litchfield National Park, just an hour-and-a-half drive from the Northern Territory’s tropical capital city. We’ve rounded up the top must-dos in this untouched pocket of the Top End region below.
This chain of pristine rock pools linked by cascades is a fantastic place to set up shop for a day. Take your pick of the rock pools and alternate between reading a book in the shade, sunning yourself on a rock, and taking a dip in the cooling waters.
The height of these falls is monumental, so expect to take a fair few stairs to reach the bottom pool. Here, take a swim in the refuge of the monsoonal rainforest while you appreciate a true oasis in the outback.
The ideal spot for a picnic lunch on the manicured lawns, a swim at Wangi is a more relaxing affair than its neighbours, Buley and Florence. This sandy-bottomed swimming spot is fed by two waterfalls that cascade over the edge of the surrounding escarpment.
The former home of the tin-mining Sargent family, Blyth Homestead was built in 1929 and is a must-see for history buffs. Interpretive displays set up inside the restored homestead detail the hardships faced by the early pioneers of the Litchfield region.
While swimming above the magnificent 40-metre high Tolmer Falls is not permitted, it’s well worth heading to the viewing platform to take in this mesmerising waterfall. From here you can take the 45-minute walking track through Litchfield’s sandstone country and past crystalline rock pools.
Ok, so bugs may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the magnetic and cathedral termites that build their towering homes throughout the Litchfield are truly remarkable. As old as 100 years, magnetic termite mounds are as tall as two metres, while their cathedral termite cousins build homes up to the dizzying heights of four metres. Not bad for such tiny bugs!
Tip: if you get lost, use a magnetic mound to find your way home. The thin edges point north-south to minimise sun exposure on the mound, while the wider sides point east-west.