From Douglas / Daly conservation area we headed off to Darwin to pick up our friends Ben, Jen, Malcolm and James who flew up from Perth to join us for some sight seeing around the top end and Territory Day celebrations. First was a couple of nights camp at Litchfield National Park. Six people and all their camping gear in the Hilux proved a challenge to squeeze in. We may have set a world record for most stuff ever fit into a Hilux!
Litchfield is very busy at this time of the year, dry season school holidays, so we headed to the Florence falls camping area that is only accessibly to four wheel drives to try to avoid the herds of grey nomads and tourists. We camped there two nights and on the second day explored the Magnetic Termite Mounds, Wangi Falls, Buley Rockhole and Blyth Homestead. Litchfield is truly beautiful with world class waterfalls and freshwater pools. We would like to return for an extended stay to visit the many other attractions in the area.
Florence falls four wheel drive camping area has pit toilets and wood fired bbqs. The track in is fairly easy, but first gear low range is required to minimize damage to passengers travelling in the tray of a ute. The track is mostly rocky with one steep climb down to the camping area. There is no soft sand. The camp ground is a 15 min walk to florence falls – a small but beautiful waterfall cascading into a rock pool. There are well made viewing platforms and walks around the top of the escarpment that provide good views of the falls and surrounding valley. We did the walk there and back at night which made for a fun challenge. I broke my shoe. Found one lonely thong left at the base of the falls which was perfect for my situation. Wore it for the next few days.
The Magnetic Termite Mounds are built by a particular species of termites and are always aligned in a north – south orientation, believed to improve drying of the mound in the wet season by maximizing surface area exposed to the sun. One side gets morning sun, the other side gets afternoon sun.
Wangi falls are terrific. Spectacular falls and a huge pool perfect for swimming. It’s a very developed site with a kiosk, grassed areas, picnic areas, gas bbqs, good toilet and a camping area with good facilities and warm showers. One of the main attractions of Litchfield National Park, it’s extremely busy. There is also a visitor center under construction.
Buley Rockhole is a series of rock spas spread across multiple levels with small water falls between. Again spectacular and tremendous to relax in the refreshing water, but very busy.
Blyth Homestead is an old timber and tin structure built in 1928 and abandoned in the 1960’s. Access is by 4WD only, and the track traverses a few shallow but fun water crossings. Across the adjacent creek is the remnants of a tin mine. We had a look around the homestead and the mine and read some of the information on display. Interesting history. You gotta take your hat off to the early pioneers who came to these remote areas. Once you start heading down the 4WD track it’s a lot less busy. There are some camp grounds further down the track that we will have to check out some other time.