Photo: Tourism NT

Natural wonders of the Top End

Litchfield National Park offers beautiful sandy swimming holes, cascading watercourses, spectacular waterfalls that flow year round, open plains dotted with grey magnetic termite mounds, lush pockets of monsoonal rainforest and thousands of cycads like cheerful green feather dusters.

Litchfield National Park is just over an hours’ drive south from Darwin on a fully sealed road via the small town of Batchelor. Another access for 4WD vehicles only is via Berry Springs during the Dry Season due to a number of water crossings. The Park is named after Frederick Henry Litchfield, a member of the original Finniss Expedition to the Northern Territory in 1864.

The natural attractions of the area were not well known until the area was proclaimed a National Park in 1986. Litchfield National Park is approximately 150,000 ha comprising of a large sandstone plateau surrounded by highly eroded escarpment and watercourses lined with patches of monsoonal forest.  Creeks flow from the plateau over the escarpment to form scenic waterfalls.  The park is dominated by tropical woodland.

The Tabletop Range is made up of two main layers of sandstone.  The top layer is a soft porous rock which is eroding back faster than the harder lower layer, leaving a secondary plateau around the range.  During the wet season the rain on the top plateau is soaked up like a giant sponge and throughout the year seeps out over the harder sandstone forming the many falls and cascades found in Litchfield National Park.

In Litchfield National Park you will find that there is something for everyone –
Swimming in crystal clear plunge pools at Wangi Falls, Florence Falls, Buley Rockhole, and in the rock pools at Tjaetaba Falls, Cascades and Walker Creek (2 and 4 wheel drive access). The swimming holes at Sandy Creek and Surprise Creek are less well known as access is for 4 wheel drive vehicles only and only during the Dry Season.

Walking is a great way to experience the diverse landscape, with a number of walking trails throughout the park.  Walks range from a few minutes to a full day, and extended walks from two to three days around the Tabletop Range, with remote camping sites.

There is also a 4 wheel drive track to Lost City - freestanding sandstone block and pillar formations which suggest the ruins of a long-forgotten civilization.