About ninety minutes’ drive south of Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory, is Litchfield National Park. Litchfield is a magnificent place which has many interesting places to visit, many of which represent nature at its very best.
Litchfield is not the sort of place which should be hurried as it does take a couple of days to fully explore the park to enjoy its many delights. Whilst most of the park is accessible by good sealed roads, if you have a four wheel drive vehicle it is possible to reach some of the more remote, and seldom visited, areas of the park.
However, to my mind, the real star of Litchfield is Wangi Falls, a remarkably beautiful place that is both easy to reach and which has many amenities which cater to the hordes of people who visit.
The falls themselves have such a long, steep drop that you can see them well before you reach them.
Two separate falls cascade over a steep escarpment but, as you look towards them, the falls on the right carry vastly more water than do those on the left, although both are still very impressive. The falls drop into a large, cool swimming hole. As you enter the waterhole it is quite shallow, but the pond soon deepens so that you can no longer stand, and you must be able to swim reasonably well in order to reach the escarpment over which the water drops.
The biggest falls drop with tremendous force, but it is still possible to get a good handhold on the rocks at the foot of the falls to enjoy a soothing, but cold, natural massage.
The water is very clear and clean, and leading to the waterhole is a good grassed area for sunbathing and picnics.
There is a good 1.6 kilometre walk which loops to the top of the falls via the dense bush and rain forest which surround the waterhole. Naturally, there is quite a climb to the top, but there are various viewing areas along the walk where you can rest and admire the views.
Close to the falls is a good café, and there is plenty of parking and picnic tables nearby.
Of course, the falls do become even more spectacular during the wet season, when the area receives most of its rain. Unfortunately, these rains also bring floods, and with them crocodiles, both estuarine (the dangerous salties) and the less dangerous fresh water crocs. Because of the crocs you cannot swim during the wet season, but as the waters recede the crocodiles are removed and during the dry season Wangi Falls becomes a magic place for those who love to swim at the foot of impressive waterfalls.