outbackjoe

a camping trip of ridiculous proportions

Edith Falls, Nitmiluk National Park

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Edith Falls are brilliant. Flowing strong even at the end of the dry season and emptying into a cool, deep pool that’s perfect for swimming. The camp grounds are one of the best, with good access on a bitumen road off Stuart Hwy, green grassed areas, kiosk, laundry, gas bbqs, hot showers, flushing toilets, drinking water, lighting, picnic tables, and situated right near the lower pool of Edith Falls. Bit pricey for national park standards at $9 per person per night, but you get good facilities for the money, better than some caravan parks. Only let down is that there are no fires allowed.

We rocked up in the morning and stayed for one night. With the temperature almost hitting 40 degrees, we were hitting up the pool for a cool off several times during the day. The day involved moving between swimming in the pool and relaxing in the camp ground. We walked the Leliyn Trail in the late afternoon, which is a loop from the camp grounds up to the upper level pools and back. Similar to Gunlom Falls, it’s a hot walk up but the reward is tremendous – beautiful rock pools and a refreshing swim. First thing in the morning we set off for the 8.6km return walk to Sweetwater Pool. The walk takes you up the escarpment and follows the Edith River upstream of the falls, past some beautiful rock pools to cool off in with some swimming along the way. The walk to Sweetwater Pool is the final segment of the Jatbula Trail, a long distance walking trail running from Katherine Gorge to Edith Falls. We had plans to do the entire walk at some stage, but it’s too hot already and the risk of heat exhaustion is extreme. Most days approach 40 degrees C. So we won’t be doing the Jatbula Trail, but at least we can say we’ve done part of it.

Watch out of you have any sores when you go swimming. The little fish in the lower pool at Edith Falls have a habit of pecking at any sores or wounds. Cheeky little buggers they are. I’d suggest, in a survival situation, baiting your fishing hooks with scabs picked off any wounds you have. You’ll get yourself a feed of fish.

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Author: outbackjoe

a camping trip of ridiculous proportions

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