Litchfield National Park is the ultimate Northern Territory experience. The park is brimming with thundering waterfalls, refreshing swimming holes and the towering sandstone cliffs that are so iconic to the region. To top it all off, the park is only a two hour drive from Darwin. I’ve put together a list of the top things to do in Litchfield National Park below.
The top things to do in Litchfield National Park
Swimming holes are really the highlight of Litchfield, and Bluey Rockhole is a great introduction to them. Bluey features a series of cascading waterfalls and small rock pools that eventually flow into a large swimming hole. The red hue of the rocks contrasting against the green water is stunning.
Visit the holes around midday to see the holes fully lit up by the sun, revealing just how clear the water is. The site can get busy, particularly in the dry season. However all the different levels means its quite easy find a little spot all to yourself.
Allow a couple of hours here to slowly explore each of the levels and rock holes. The area also has bathrooms and shaded picnic tables to enjoy.
Florence Falls is one of the most spectacular swimming holes in the park. The swimming hole has two waterfalls and a deep pool that is surrounded by massive cliff edges. The water here is crystal clear and full of small fish that swim around your feet.
The falls are just a few minute drive from Bluey Rockhole. To get to the falls you will need to take 135 steps down in to the valley. From the Florence Falls carpark there is 135 steps that lead down into the valley.
Florence Creek Walk
There is a track that connects Bluey Rockhole and Florence Falls that deserves its own mention. This 3.2km track follows Florence creek. It can be started at either Bluey Rockhole or Florence Falls, although Florence Falls has more parking.
Along the track there are multiple sign posted swimming areas that you can stop at. A couple of them have small waterfalls, and one of them has a series of cascading falls and small pools. The landscape is very similar to that of Bluey Rockhole, however it seems to be more unknown and therefore a lot more quiet. We were lucky enough to have the entire area to ourselves for an hour before a family came along.
The walk is very hot in the sun, and there is little tree cover. All of the swimming stops along the way make the walk bearable though, and it ended up being one of our favourite things to do in Litchfield National Park.
Wangi Falls is one of Litchfield’s most popular attractions, thanks to the huge plunge pool at the bottom of the falls. It is one of the best swimming spots, with stairs going down into the pool, and a portion of the pool being shallow enough to stand up in.
At the far end of the pool there is two waterfalls that can be explored. One the lefthand side there is a small waterfall that has a rock pool that you can climb up into and sit in. The falls to the right hand side are larger and extremely powerful. There is a little ledge that you can sit on under the falls, the water is pretty freezing but it’s definitely invigorating.
For a view of the falls from above you can take the Wangi Falls loop walk. The walk is 1.6km return, and requires a steep climb up the stairs to the top of the falls.
Wangi also makes for the perfect place to stop for lunch or a rest. There is free wifi available, a small shop that sells drinks and ice creams and plenty of shaded areas.
Walker Creek Trail
The Walker Creek Trail was recommended to us by a local, and seems to be a bit of a hidden gem. The walk is 3.6km return, and runs along side the creek. Along the way there are eight campsites, all next to a different swimming hole. The track can be done as a day hike, or you can camp at the sites.
We only made it to the third site, the walk was very hot in the full sun and offers little shade. The site felt like a gorgeous little hidden oasis, with teal water surrounded by lush greenery.
The creek is the perfect place to get away from the crowds and find some serenity. There were a couple other people at site one, but site two and three were completely empty.
Tolmer Falls is the most dramatic waterfall in the park. The falls are viewed from above, where you can see the falls tumbling down the red cliffs and into the deep emerald plunge pool.
Swimming is not allowed at the falls due to the rare native bat species that live in the caves under the falls. Despite the no swimming, the falls are definitely still worth a visit.
There are two tracks that lead to the lookout, one that is a direct path, and one that winds through the bush. There is also a separate viewing area that looks out onto a great expanse of plains.
The thought of visiting termite mounds didn’t exactly excite me, however they are actually a pretty interesting site.
The mounds can be spotted along the side of the road on the drive into the park. There is also a site that has a couple of particularly large mounds and a board walk that looks out onto a large field of them. It is definitely a unique site, the dozens of grey mounds looks eerily like a grave site.
Some of the mounds are over twice the size of me, and are estimated to be over 50 years old. It’s worth the quick stop to see them up close on your way to some of the other attractions.
Where to stay
Within Litchfield there are multiple camp sites which offer basic facilities. On the outskirts of the park there a few caravan parks which have more extensive faciltlites
We stayed at the Banyan Tree Caravan Park which has powered sites, a swimming pool and a bar with $5 happy hour specials.
For a non-camping option, consider staying at the Lichfield Motel.
- During the wet season some of the swimming holes may not be suitable for swimming.
- Crocodiles may be present in the area, particularly after the wet season. Check all signage before swimming, and only swim in designated swimming areas.
- The heat in the Northern Territory can be intense, and makes hikes much more exhausting. Make sure you carry a large amount of water and sunscreen.
- There isn’t any phone reception in the park, so make sure you’ve pick up a map or downloaded an offline map in the Wikicamps app.
For more information on travelling in Australia, read my Ultimate Australia Travel Guide