With so much to see and do in the NT, it was not an easy decision planning our day of adventure. However, Litchfield National Park with its rock pools and waterfalls was the perfect choice for a day where the sun was shining and the forecast was for 30°
Our day started with a wholesome breakfast at a favourite café located down a laneway off a mall (a bit like Melbourne, hidden and a great spot once you find it). With great artisan coffee, house-made muesli, yoghurt, fruit and honey, as well as ciabatta toast to fill our bellies, we were then ready to hit the road.
Cruising at 130km along the Stuart Highway in our Toyota Camry, we really felt as though we were on holidays; the fact we had the air-conditioning on and our sunglasses for the glare, added to that feeling. After driving past gum tress, palms and dry grass for most of the way, we eventually came across the sign for Buley Rock Pools and the scenery started to change. We walked towards the sounds of splashing water and laughter then saw the series of rock pools that were so inviting in the heat of the day. After taking some photos we found our patch of rocks, and then hit the water, jumping from the rocks into the depths below, enjoying a swim and some time to soak up the sun. Was nice to get a bit of colour on our pale Melbourne skin.
Not far from Buley was Florence Falls, which are a spectacular double waterfall set amid the monsoon forest cascading into a swimming hole.
We made our way down a 160-step staircase (with a little slip on the way down… guess by who) to the swimming area, which was already very popular with people of all ages. We managed to manoeuvre the slippery rocks to enjoy a refreshing swim and watch some guys take the risk of climbing the rocks to dive into the depths below (under the watchful eye of park rangers and the promise of a fine when they surfaced). After an influx of school children we decided to depart Florence Falls and make our way to Wangi.
Every oasis of water and falls that we came across, was so unique in comparison to the flat and dry flora that surrounded us while driving to each destination. Wangi Falls were no exception, surrounded by a vast open area, with high flying black kites and a range of other exotic birds. The water in front of the falls was dark and still, but inviting in the heat of the afternoon. We decided to swim over to the falls which were bathed in sunshine, it was quite eerie swimming across and not seeing or knowing what was below us, but the beckoning sun on the rocks near the falls was motivation to get there and enjoy the view and splashing water from the falls.
Time to start heading back to Darwin as the sun was slowing setting and the unique smell of food cooking on the BBQs making us hungry. Instead of going back the way we came, we decided to be adventurous and take the road via Berry Springs……adventurous because part of our drive was along corrugated iron gravel roads, testing Becky’s driving skills and our patience as we were teased with small stretches of bitumen roads. But we passed with flying colours and safely made our way back to Darwin with a very dirty and dusty car (at least we did not have to clean it!)
Our day was not over yet, and we did not want it to end, so enjoyed a movie screening at their Deckchair cinema; a great experience under the starlit sky. During the course of our day we were surprised that we had not seen much of the NT wildlife, however all that changed on our short walk home (well to the Hilton), where Becky and I stopped short of stepping on a snake! Not expecting to see one in the local city streets, but then you never know what you can find in the great outdoors and enjoying an adventure in the NT.
We can’t wait to go and do it all again.