Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Litchfield National Park

Over the past couple of years I have heard a lot of talk about the Tropics of Northern Australia.  It was these conversations that I reflected on as we headed towards Litchfield National Park.  For weeks I had imagined myself dripping in sweat, with a machete in hand as I tried to penetrate the multiple layers of thick, lush, dense foliage.  However, the landscape that surrounded me as we approached the park was not the tropics that I had expected.  I am not sure if I was surprised or disappointed with the oh so familiar landscape of rugged sandstone terrain covered with countless eucalyptus trees and other scrub bushes.  I couldn't help but feel as though I could be anywhere in Australia.  However, over the next couple of days as we  explored the nooks and crannies of the area, I came to appreciate the ancient landscape that has been shaped over millions of years, and its sandstone vine-forests.  
Litchfield National Park is located about 120 kilometers southwest of Darwin.  The 1500 sq km area was scarcely known until it was proclaimed a National Park in 1986.  Today, the park receives more than a quarter of a million visitors yearly.  Locals and tourist are drawn to the park by its numerous perrenial spring-feed streams, permanent crystal-clear waterholes and spectacular waterfalls.  
Of course we didn't visit the park for the water but, instead, we hoped the hike the 39 kilometer Tabletop Bushwalk.  Unfortunately, due to recent rains, the trail was closed.  Instead, we did several shorter loops in the park and we were treated to a numerous rock holes, moonson forests, and gushing waterfalls. It was during these walks that I came to appreciate not only the role water has played in the formation of the land, but how its continual presences distinguishes the area from other parts of Australia.

Cascading Plunge Pools At Buley Rockhole

Florence Falls

Moonsoon Forest Near Wangi Falls

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maya, I enjoyed this post a lot and learning about this part of Australia. The photos of the waterfalls, river and surrounding area are very beautiful. I love visiting places near or around water.

    Thanks so much for sharing.