Litchfield - Where the fun happens
Trip Start Nov 01, 2009
123Trip End Nov 30, 2010
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Where I stayed
DAY 1 -
We started the day at Jim Jim Billabong campsite in Kakadu National Park. We left early to set off for Litchfield, our next national park. On the way we stopped at a really tiny town called Pine Creek, where we hoped we could buy some more goon. The one shop that seemed to sell everything for the whole town, couldn’t sell us any cask wine as it was before 2 pm. Due to ‘intervention laws’ aimed at preventing Aboriginals getting drunk (well, early in the day at least!). We were however allowed to buy bottles of beer, so we got a few of those to see us through the next part of our camping adventure.
We continued our drive to another small town called Batchelor, where we stopped for lunch
Our first stop, once we arrived in Litchfield was at a group of magnetic termite mounds. These are different from the regular termite mounds from their shape and because they are all built in the same orientation. Together they looked liked headstones in a huge graveyard. It was midday by this point and the sun was beating heavily down on us and beginning to take its toll. After taking a few pictures of the headstones, we were keen to get on our way again and head to Florence Falls to cool off.
We set up our tents in the campsite near Florence Falls, from which we could walk to the falls. The waterfalls cascaded into a sheltered plunge pool, surrounded by high sided rock faces. It looked stunning, as Teck put it, it was ‘like paradise’. It may have looked beautiful, but the water was freezing and as the sun had started to go behind the rock it was hard to get warmed up.
We all swam to the waterfalls and then sat on one of the rocks in the pool. Every now and then little fish would come up and give you a little nip
Feeling refreshed, we headed back to our campsite for dinner. On the menu that night was butter chicken curry with rice. We had discovered that you could buy chicken chunks in a can, which opened up our cooking possibilities. It was much tastier than it sounds!
After showers, we sat around a fire prepared by Doog. As we sat there we saw about 4 wallabies bouncing around in the wooded area surrounding our site. One came right up to the fire - it really felt like we were in the Australian outback!
After a beer or two, we called it a night. Once again Doog and I went to sleep on our hard sleeping mats while Teck enjoyed sleeping on his more luxurious air mattress - not that we were envious!
DAY 2 -
We started the day at our campsite near Florence Falls with our usual breakfast of hot oats, cranberries and jam. Teck had started to enjoy Coles own brand oats almost as much as his ‘Uncle Toby’ oats that he usually has at home…that was some achievement! We then walked to Buley Rockholes. It was much smaller than we had expected, after reading about hem, but we were the only people there which made it more special.
Once again the water was really cold, but we had a lot of fun climbing over the rocks and into little ‘Jacuzzis’ in plunge pools underneath the waterfalls
After basking in the sun for the while, we walked back along Shady Creek (through a sort of tropical forest) to Florence Falls, where we had another quick swim. It was really hot so it was great to cool off with a refreshing dip. We then walked back to our campsite to pack up our tents - something we had become very efficient at doing by that point - and headed to our next campsite at Wangi Falls. On the way, we made a brief stop at Tolmer Falls. Although it was quite an impressive waterfall, you could only view it from far away.
At our new campsite, we set up our tents and had lunch before walking to Wangi falls - probably the most impressive falls we had seen in Litchfield. There were two waterfalls at the far end of a huge pool that was being warmed up by the sun. Before entering the pool however, there was a sign warning you about crocs. Apparently the rangers check the pool for crocs at the start the dry season before opening it for swimming…but just seeing the sign made me nervous.
Doog and Teck first braved the water and swam to the falls on the other side. Seeing everyone enjoy the water, I managed to get over my croc fear and go in myself, although I made sure to stay near other people so that I wouldn’t be an easy target if there was a croc. I swam to meet Doog and Teck and we all sat on the rocks underneath the waterfall, watching people climb up the rock face opposite us and jump in the water from a ledge. Not satisfied with just watching, I decided to have a go myself, which then spurred Teck and Doog to also give it a try
After we had swum back, we saw a group of Aboriginal boys climbing up the rocks and showing us how jumping off should be done. They were fearless, jumping from ridiculous heights and once all the boys had made the jump they effortlessly climbed up to a different point where they jumped off again.
We then went for a walk that looped around the top of the falls, to work up an appetite for dinner. From near the top of the falls we got a great view over the park.
That night we had mash potato (instant of course) with steak (from a can), which was actually really tasty…I think your standards slip a bit when you’re camping. As we ate at a picnic bench at our campsite we realised that we had become surrounded by toads.
Carefully making our way back to our tents, we were in bed by 9 pm exhausted.