Monday, 13 August 2012

Litchfield NT - 02/08/12 to 07/08/12

We have just spent five days in the beautiful Litchfield National Park. We stayed in a lovely caravan park on the edge of the national park and our days were spent driving the 30 odd k’s into the national park to check out the waterfalls and plunge pools. Bush walks, swimming in the pools and then back to the park to spend the arvos relaxing around our shady, well grassed camp site enjoying a few drinks as the sun set.  We loved it there.  It was very relaxing even though we were on the go every day.

Driving into the park though the scrub land it was difficult to believe that there was any water to found be at all, let alone picturesque waterfalls.   Every walk we did we were rewarded with magnificent waterfalls and crystal clear rock pools to swim in.  We managed to do every waterfall bar one. One our third day we did some serious off-roading to visit The Lost City (rock formations that look like a city), Blyth Homestead (built in 1929 as an outstation  for the Blyth family’s Stapleton Station) and Tjaynera Falls. The track we went along was 4wd only and we had two creek crossings about 40cm deep.  The waterfall we didn’t get to was a further 20 k’s along and it had a serious river crossing.  After speaking to a few people, and reading a sign recommending your vehicle have a snorkel to cross (ours doesn’t), we decided against taking it on.

Unfortunately, on our trip to Litchfield the car again showed signs of overheating. As mentioned earlier, it seemed too good to be true that our earlier problem could be corrected simply with a new radiator cap. Seems the problem is a bit more extensive. Spoke to the mechanic in Darwin who is now arranging for a new radiator and other items to, hopefully, fix the problem. Unfortunately it is not one of those things that you can simply “this is what’s wrong” but more an issue of working through all the things that can be failing until the problem is fixed.  So, after Litchfield it’s back to Darwin again. There was no point going straight back because, as per most things in the NT, you have a wait until the parts turn up from Adelaide or Perth. Car was ok to drive around as long as the water was checked every day. But it is no good as it is to do long trips pulling the caravan.  And we need it right before we head into WA.

So we have had a very relaxing and enjoyable time in Litchfield, followed by a short drive back to Darwin to set up in the park around the corner from the mechanic to wait out the repairs to the car.

Buley Rockhole
Nate jumping from rocks at Buley

Magnetic termite mounds. They build their mounds north to south so they can take full advantage of the  the shade as their mounds don't have and underground galleries.

Cathedral termite mound

Wangi Falls

The walk at Walker Creek (appropriate name) Had to believe we will find water near here.

Walker creek waterfall

Tjaetaba Falls plunge pool which we had to ourselves

Boys jumping from the rocks at Tjaetaba Falls plunge pool

Drive into The Lost City - dirt, corrugations and river crossings

In The Lost City. We thought this rock formation looked like a giant man

And this one, right beside it, looked like a giant dog

In The Lost City

First creek crossing - driver is a bit anxious about this

Second creek crossing. Water is deeper than first and driver 's anxiety levels are increasing

Tjaynera Falls

Vicki and the boys on the rocks at far side of Tjaynera Falls plunge pool

And again, this time under the actual waterfall

Heading back home across the creek crossing. Notice the sign. Makes you wonder what you would do if you get stuck half way

Bit of footy in the park at Batchelor township.

Boys attempting to build card castles on floor of van

Florence Falls

All the boys on the rocks beside Florence Falls. Some are game to go higher up the rocks. Sensible ones (or those with track record of personal injuries) are content to stay down the bottom.

Boys making spears to try and catch fish with,

Florence Falls plunge pool

Spears already for fishing 

Shady Creek that runs from Florence Falls to Buley Rockhole

Little spot we had in Shady Creek all to ourselves.

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