Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
18 August 2006 - Batchelor, Litchfield National Park

Location map Today I had a look at some of the attractions in Litchfield National Park.

First stop was at the magnetic termite mounds which are shaped differently from other termite mounds; these mounds are nearly flat on the eastern and western sides to deal with high temperatures during the day. This site was frequented by large tourist buses (it's day-trip distance from Darwin) as well as by many more motorhomes and campervans than we have seen before on our travels. Informative signage explaining the 'magnetic' termites was good but limited to the termite nests and the geomorphology of the tableland making up the national park leading to the waterfalls which are Litchfield's main attraction.

Then I went to a couple of waterfalls. Wangi Falls are impressive; they are the main waterfall and therefore the main attraction of Litchfield. There are two separate waterfalls into a common pool of very clear, shallow water which is a popular swimming spot. Both were still flowing well with water retained on the higher tableland during the wet season. The carpark was just about full with cars, 4WDs, and a number of large and small buses. I did the Wangi Falls walk which went up the escarpment going from monsoonal jungle up to the dry country above the escarpment.

"Magnetic" termite mounds in Litchfield National Park.
Flying foxes near Wangi Falls.
Large termite mound.
Litchfield is a very popular national park with pretty ordinary facilities showing a fair level of 'people stress' from the number of visitors. The Northern Territory government is planning to spend a few million dollars this financial year to provide a high quality information centre (comparable to that at Kakadu, Katherine Gorge or Karajini) and to generally upgrade tourist facilities in Litchfield.

Insects in the Batchelor caravan park were very bad after sunset. The Mortein-vapour stuff kills them but takes about an hour to work. A curtain across the van door certainly didn't keep them all out of the van and we ended up with a collection of dead insects on tables and shelves.