AUS: 1300 630 488    NZ: 0800 1477 6287

Explore beautiful Litchfield National Park

Just a 90-minute drive from Darwin, Litchfield National Park is a lush national park with an abundance of waterholes – some of which you can even swim in without fear of crocs!

How to get to Litchfield National Park

By far the two most common ways to visit Litchfield is either by car, or by tour bus from Darwin.

If you have your own car in Darwin, then self-drive is the way to go. Litchfield’s road access is very good, and you can drive to the vast majority of its highlights in any car (as opposed to somewhere like Kakadu or the Kimberley region, which requires a 4WD in a lot of cases).

If you’re renting a car from Darwin, however, be aware that most Darwin car hire companies place a 100km daily limit on drivers. A full day in Litchfield is about a 300km round trip from Darwin, so this will put you well over the limit.

If you do want to hire a car with unlimited kilometres, your best bet is book through Tourism Top End, which has deals with many Darwin car hires that allow for unlimited kilometres.

Self-driving, of course, allows you to explore the national park at your own pace, and also gives you the advantage of being able to visit some of the highlights at quieter times of the day, such as sunrise and sunset.

Alternatively, there are several bus tour companies that do day trips to Litchfield, including AAT Kings, Offroad Dreaming and more.

Where to begin?

If you’re on a bus tour, this part will be taken care of for you. However, if you’re self-driving, then there are two ways to approach Litchfield National Park: from the east via the town of Batchelor, or from the west via Berry Springs and then Rakula.

Litchfield Park Road loops through the National Park, so whichever direction you choose, you’ll still be able to see all the highlights (just in a different order). 

5 Litchfield National Park highlights 

If you’re approaching the National Park via Batchelor, here’s the order of highlights to visit. These aren’t the only spots in the park to see – there are a few lesser-known ones, some of which are accessible only by 4WD or by hiking – but the following five are accessible via sealed roads and can be visited year round.

1. Magnetic Termite Mounds

The first stop after Batchelor, the Magnetic Termite Mounds are almost-100-year-old structures, many of which stand up to two metres tall on a wide, flat plain. Stare in wonder at these enormous magnetic compasses, whose edges point north-south and backs face east-west, thermo-regulating the temperature for the magnetic termites inside.

2. Buley Rockhole

These cascading pools form one of the best places in Litchfield National Park to swim, with a mix of shallow rock pools and deeper plunge pools. Walking trails run the entire length of the pools, so you can pick your own little corner of the 200-metre stretch to sit back and soak.

3. Florence Falls

A short drive up the road from Buley Rockhole and you’ll reach the Florence Falls carpark. Take a photo at the lookout with its views down towards the falls, and then descend the 160 stairs into the shady plunge pool at the bottom. Gaze up in wonder at the powerful falls above, and if you’re feeling brave, swim on over to the waterfalls and dip your head beneath.

TIP: Florence and Buley Rockhole are the best places to swim in Litchfield National Park, but they get busy in the middle of the day. If you want to increase your chances of getting the falls to yourself (or just a handful of others), we recommend leaving Darwin early and getting there just in time for sunrise, or waiting until late in the day at sunset. It’s an incredible experience to enjoy these natural wonders without the crowds.

4. Tolmer Falls

These are arguably the most spectacular falls in Litchfield National Park, but swimming here is not permitted. A short walk takes you to one of two viewing platforms where you can see the falls from afar. This is a particularly special place to view the sunset with views not only towards the falls, but also for miles over the tree canopy that expands into the depths of Litchfield. 

5. Wangi Falls

Probably the most famous location in Litchfield National Park, Wangi Falls is an an incredible place to swim, however the pool is often subject to closures depending on the season due to the threat of crocodiles creeping into the area. As disappointing as it can be not to be able to swim in this spectacular pool, the view from the viewing platform is wonderful on its own and well worth a visit.

Note: Just as swimming in Tolmer Falls is not permitted, and just as Wangi Falls may be closed depending on the season, all locations in Litchfield National Park are subject to restrictions at any time. It’s always best to check the NT.GOV.AU website to see what is and isn’t open at any given time, and plan your trip accordingly.