From Katherine Gorge we headed to Litchfield NP. On the way we stopped at a small Conservation Park off the main hwy for morning tea. Umbrawarra Gorge is a lovely little spot just a short walk from the car-park. It’s been very humid and hot and so a quick refreshing dip was in order, and over the next 3 days we would doing a lot of swimming in creeks and water holes! It was so peaceful and quiet with nobody else around and we knew this would probably be last quiet place in the territory.
Next stop was Adelaide River for lunch at the 303 Bar. Must get busy here for ANZAC Day as they were selling Tank-tops with 2013 ANZAC Day Ceremony on it. While having lunch, we noticed there was a Commonwealth War Cemetery here, so after lunch, we went down the road for a look. As you would expect, everything is in pristine condition and the lawn is mowed according to the government regulation. Adelaide River had a field hospital during WWII and most of the casualties from the Japanese air raids were withdrawn to it. People volunteered at the hospital to fan burn victims 24 hr/day to keep the flies off them and stop infection.
Litchfield National Park is only an hour out of Darwin and attracts a lot of tourists, so we headed out early next morning for the popular spots. Susan was a little ‘surprised’ with Litchfield NP as she expected to see lush, green rain forest everywhere, but it is quiet ‘normal’ looking bush with creeks and spectacular waterfalls. First stop – Florence Falls. A great sight from the look-out at the top, then down the 234 steps, scramble over the rocks and in for a swim in the pool with only a couple of other people there – lovely! Plenty of large fish swimming with you as well. After climbing back up the steps it was onto Buley Rock-hole. When we first looked at the park map, Buley Rock-hole doesn’t sound like much, but after we arrived and went down to the creek we were pleasantly surprised, a series of rock pools that cascaded down the creek. We had an infinity pool at Lake Argyle, here we had a natural one at the top pool! Next onto Tolmer Falls. Here you can only view the large falls from a lookout above, but it would be good to swim at the pool below as well.
Back to camp we dropped into the Magnetic Termite Mounds. Susan didn’t even get out of the car because she didn’t need to see a termite mound from outside the car when there are millions to see from looking out the car window while driving. After tea we had rain for first time on our trip. Not much, but enough to take the humidity through the roof! Even the locals are commenting that the wet is staying longer this season, normally by this time of year, the dry is well into the season.
Next day we visited Wangi Falls (and another swim) and then to a less visited spot Walker Creek. We spent a half a day walking up the creek, dropping into water holes, they seem to go on forever. On the way back to camp we dropped into Wangi Falls to get a better photograph as the sun wasn’t shining on them in the morning we were there. That night the thunderstorms really rolled in, and just after tea it started to rain … and it didn’t stop raining. The park maintenance man said that we had 48 mm of rain overnight. We got a bit of water in the tent, but none where we were sleeping. It was a slow pack up this morning to let everything dry out, and we’re now in Darwin – lovely blue skies, 30 degC and very low humidity. Weather Bureau are saying the dry has arrived and there’ll will be no more rain for a while. We’re expecting 19 degC tonight. Might have to get out the sleeping bags!
Did you know … #14?
There is a Commonwealth War Cemetery at Adelaide River. It holds over 400 servicemen and woman who died in the northern part of Australia and the islands to the close countries to the north!