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Darwin attractions

Litchfield National Park

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For an organised day trip click here: Litchfield National Park


Litchfield is closer to Darwin, but has no public transport to it, so, unless you have a private vehicle, you must go on a tour. To reach Litchfield, one travels south on the Stuart Highway beyond the point at which the Arnhem Highway goes off to the east. You will see a turn-off on the left to Lake Bennett, and soon afterwards there is a turning on the right to Batchelor and Litchfield National Park.


On the way down the Stuart Highway, you may notice some wartime airstrips used in the defence of Northern Australia. There is one, for example, at Coomalie Creek, just as you turn off for Batchelor. During the war years, Batchelor was an important place, with both Australian and American airmen stationed here. After the war, Australia’s first uranium mine was opened at Rum Jungle, just north of Batchelor, in 1949, and most of the present buildings in Batchelor were designed to accommodate the miners. The mine was closed in 1971.


Litchfield National Park is only 7% of the size of Kakadu, although it is still not tiny. However, it is much more possible to ‘do’ it in a day. Litchfield, incidentally, was a member of the Finness exploration party which passed through here and named the various features. He was fortunate to be able to live on in history by having his name given to such a memorable and beautiful location. Litchfield was originally a mining area, from the late nineteenth century until the 1950s. The minerals found here are copper and tin. When mining was no longer profitable, the area became a pastoral property. It was only in 1986 that it was proclaimed as a National Park. Admission to the park is free, but there is a fee for camping.


Waterfalls are some of the main attractions, the most noteworthy being Wangi Falls, Buley Rockhole, Florence Falls, Tolmer Falls and Tjaynera Falls. There are also groups of termite mounds (‘ant hills’), such as you will find throughout the Territory, and one in particular resembles the tombs in a graveyard. The ‘Lost City’ is a sandstone formation resembling a city with fortifications, statues and inhabitants, but it is not easily accessible without a four-wheel-drive vehicle. There is no accommodation available within the park, but camping is permitted, for a fee, at designated camping areas. Accommodation is available at Batchelor and tours of the park are available from Batchelor.



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