Thursday, June 4, 2015

Litchfield National Park 25-27 May

After a quick visit to see Marty Alsford at the Indigenous Training Unit at Batchelor we travelled on to Litchfield National Park and set up camp near Buley Rockhole so we could waste no time having a swim. It was 38 degrees outside but very pleasant in the water, even though we had to share it with several others. We found the bottom rock pool on the way back and promised to return the next day.

Buley Rockholes, the top pools above and the quiet bottom pool below

A real treat at Buley Rockhole campsite was the Great Bowerbird’s bower under a tree next to the path. The next day we watched him strutting his stuff to try to attract the female who was inspecting the nest and moving things around to her satisfaction.

There are several falls in Litchfield so we visited as many as possible. First was Florence Falls which we had last seen in 2004, then Tolmer Falls which are quite high, but not accessible for swimming. Wongi Falls are very popular and easily accessible for everyone. There is also a warm spring which was very pleasant to float under.
Florence Falls

Tolmer Falls
The view from Tolmer Falls
Wongi Falls

Wongi Falls

Apart from waterfalls there is Tableland Swamp with beautiful waterlilies and paperbark trees, and a rocky outcrop called the Lost City, which reminded us a little of the sections of Angkor Wat that have been hidden by the jungle. There are also the termite mounds and there are 2 kinds here. The magnetic mounds are a medium size and are aligned east-west as a cooling mechanism, exposing less area to the heat of the sun. They are grey in colour and from a distance they resemble a very uniform cemetery. The other mounds can become very tall and are called cathedral mounds - the tallest are over 5 metres high.

Tableland Swamp
The Lost City

Magnetic Termite mounds

A very large cathedral termite mound
The park itself is quite hilly with unexpectedly winding roads, and because of its relative proximity to Darwin is very popular with locals and tourists alike. It seems quite large, but compared with the vastness of Kakadu it seems small

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