Short Stay in Darwin
Darwin is Australia’s only tropical capital city and the gateway to the Top End. It lies within the traditional lands of the Larrikia people, adjacent to the Timor Sea and is closer to Bali than any other capital city in Australia.
Darwin’s cosmopolitan mix of more than 50 nationalities is typified by the wonderful market held throughout the dry season. Unfortunately, on our visit the market hadn’t commenced so I had to take the locals word about how good they are.
Nature is well and truly part of Darwin’s DNA. The famous Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks are a few hours drive south and the Tiwi Islands a short boat ride away to the north. Alan and I were in Darwin for a few days before heading off on a Silversea Kimberley cruise.
We chose the convenient option of visiting the fabulous Litchfield area and we certainly weren’t disappointed. The 1,500 square kilometre park was originally home to the Wagait traditional indigenous people. Its spring fed waterfalls cascade over the vibrate red rocks into crystal clear pools, while the clusters of weathered sandstone pillars at the Lost City present a stunning sculptured vista of stone spires.
The park encloses much of the spectacular Tabletop Range, a wide sandstone plateau mostly surrounded by cliffs. The waterfalls that pour off the edge of this plateau are a highlight of the park.
One of the other outstanding features of the park are the magnetic termite mounds which look like tombstones while the cathedral termite mounds can stand more than four metres high and appear as mini cathedrals. They can be up to 100 years old and are unique to the northern parts of Australia.
After checking out the termite mounds our next stop was at Buley Rockholes. This series of cascades and rock-holes were a delightful spot to cool off in the hot day and a perfect lunch spot. The natural plunge pools are surrounded by scenic bush where you can relax as the cool water rolls over your shoulders.
Florence and Wangi Falls are also popular swimming holes for most tourists when they visit Litchfield National Park. The huge plunge pool at Florence Falls is one of the top swimming spots within the park while Wangi Falls are a spectacular water display of two waterfalls crushing down on the red rock. The pool was closed for swimming whilst we were visiting, apparently too early in the season after the wet.
There is so much to discover around Darwin and hopefully sometime soon I will return for a longer stay to experience more of nature’s Top End delights.