Tuesday, 7 April 2015

7 April, 2015: Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory

7 April, 2015: Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory
Drove through Batchelor township, the gateway to Litchfield National Park, then completed a loop within the park throughout the day, stopping to explore all the accessible/ interesting areas. Several roads were still closed since the Wet Season (unfortunately the tracks into Lost City and Bamboo Creek Tin Mine were closed due to flooding) and swimming was prohibited in some waterfalls and rockholes as the Rangers could not guarantee crocodiles had not washed into the park during flood events. 

Saw fields of Magnetic Termite Mounds - built by termites (sometimes called spinifex termites) these amazing architectural feats are complete with arches, tunnels, chimneys, insulation and nursery chambers. The mounds are aligned north to south to minimise exposure to the sun. Our grandson Nathan was dwarfed by one Cathedral Termite Mound which was 5 metres high, and 50 years old.

Straw-necked Ibis
Leopard Tree bark

Pandanus fruit

Cathedral Termite Mound
Magnetic Termite Mound

Beautiful Dragonfly

Magnificent Paperbark trunk

Walked around the Cascades and Tolmer Falls (single long drop), taking the boardwalk around Wangi Falls. We were rewarded by spotting giant Golden Orb spiders, noisy fruit bats, and a pretty Spangled Drongo.

Wangi from boardwalk
The enticing Wangi Falls

Spangled Drongo

Nathan showed us his favourite swimming spot at Buley Rockhole, skillfully avoiding the lumpy conglomerate rocks, and a nasty-looking thorny blue plant. 
Nathan and Grandad in Buley Waterhole

Looked out over Florence Falls (multiple cascades, ending in twin drop), declining steep walk down and back that late in afternoon. 

Florence Falls

Drove back to Darwin on dirt track, through brief rainstorm.

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