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15 Things to KNOW Before Visiting Litchfield National Park

15 Things to KNOW Before Visiting Litchfield National Park

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If you’re after a day in the “real” Australian outback, a visit to Litchfield National Park is a must! While we were in nearby Darwin, we knew we had to make a quick trip from Darwin to Litchfield National Park. It’s only a 1.5-hour drive to this amazing place filled with cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear swimming holes, towering sandstones, and epic camping spots.

While there are some fantastic tours to take here (that we will let you in on), you can also explore at your own pace and just discover what this incredible place has to offer. The scenery here is jaw-dropping!

After visiting ourselves, there are definitely some things you should know before visiting Litchfield National Park. We will let you in on all the tips we wish we knew, what to bring, where to stay and all of the park’s top attractions you won’t want to miss.

So make the most of your visit to this park that is a jewel of the Top End of Australia! 

Table Of Contents
  1. 1. About Litchfield National Park   
  2. 2. Where is Litchfield National Park?
  3. 3. Is it free to visit Litchfield National Park?
  4. 4. When is the best time to visit Litchfield National Park?  
  5. 5. Can you visit Litchfield National Park in the wet season?  
  6. 6. What are the best tours to Litchfield National Park?  
  7. 7. What are the best places to visit in Litchfield National Park?   
  8. 8. Are there crocodiles in Litchfield National Park?  
  9. 9. How long do you need to visit Litchfield National Park?  
  10. 10. Where can you stay in Litchfield National Park?  
  11. 11. Facilities in Litchfield National Park  
  12. 12. Do you need a 4WD to visit Litchfield National Park?  
  13. 13. What should you bring to Litchfield National Park?  
  14. 14. Are dogs allowed in Litchfield National Park? 
  15. 15. Is Litchfield National Park worth visiting? 
  16. Thanks for reading!
  17. Why We Book Tours with Viator
  18. Renting a Car in Australia

1. About Litchfield National Park   

Arial View of Florence Falls  
Arial view of Florence Falls  
The Wangi Falls secret rock pool
The Wangi Falls secret rock pool

Litchfield National Park is a 1,500-square-kilometer (580-square-mile) natural preserve located in the Northern Territory of Australia. It’s known for its spectacular waterfalls, huge termite mounds, rainforests, swimming spots, and sandstone pillars.

While it is getting more popular, I’d still say it has that “hidden gem” status and is a favorite among locals. Because it’s so close to Darwin, it’s an easy day trip for a swim or a picnic or you can even camp in the park to spend a few days here.

Its designation as a national park is actually quite recent, happening in 1986. It’s named after Frederick Henry Litchfield, who was one of the explorers who officially discovered the area in 1864. However, long before Europeans set foot on the land that is now Litchfield National Park, the region was inhabited by the Mak Mak Marranunggu, Werat, and Waray Aboriginal people for thousands of years.

The landscape in the area is dramatic with small tropical forests, epic cliffs, deep gorges, and majestic waterfalls scattered throughout the park. The entire environment has been shaped by rushing water flowing across sandstone – there is an abundance of water here, especially during the rainy season.  

People swim in Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park
People swim in Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park

We were amazed by the number of species of plants and animals thriving in this beautiful park. There’s everything from kangaroos, wallabies, sugar gliders, possums, dingos, tons of birds, and even rare orchids and delicate lilies growing throughout the park. The caves around Tolmer Falls are also home to rare species of bats.

There are also crocodiles lurking throughout the Finniss River, called “salties” by locals since they are saltwater crocs. FYI – sometimes swimming spots are closed during the wet season (Oct-April) when heavy rains mean saltwater crocs can get into the popular swimming sites. Watch for closures!

Of course, a sight you can’t miss is the iconic magnetic termite mounds! The mounds are aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field – so cool. These structures can be 6.5 feet (2 meters) high or even taller and are unique to this part of Australia.

2. Where is Litchfield National Park?

Tolmer Falls, Litchfield National Park
Tolmer Falls, Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park is located in the Northern Territory of Australia approximately 116 km (72 miles) from Darwin. The park lies between two rivers, the Finniss River and the Daly River, and can be accessed from either Cox Peninsula Road or through the small town of Batchelor.

Driving to the park from Darwin takes only about an hour and a half. There are tours that will include transportation or you can opt for a rental car. It’s an easy and enjoyable drive from Darwin and we loved the scenery along the way.

If you’re after a guided tour from Darwin, it’s a really convenient way to explore Litchfield National Park if you don’t have your own car and want to leave the navigation and planning to someone else. This specific tour to Litchfield National Park includes transportation from your hotel in Darwin. It also includes a jumping croc cruise (you have to go on one of these while you’re here!) and stops at the best places to swim in Litchfield. All that and lunch for only $199 AUD when you book online here is a steal of a deal!

Related Read: If you’re planning to visit on a day trip, check out the top places to stay in Darwin!

3. Is it free to visit Litchfield National Park?

Bailey swims at Florence Falls  
Bailey swims at Florence Falls  

While visiting Litchfield National Park used to be free (and still is if you’re a local of the Northern Territory), all visitors now require a Park Pass.

You can purchase a Park Pass online on the Northern Territory Parks Booking website ahead of time (which is what I recommend). If you do show up on the day, you’ll still need to buy one online or call the customer service number at 1300 281 121.

Park Passes are $10 AUD for an adult day pass, $5 AUD for kids, and $25 AUD for a family pass for the day. If you’re planning multiple visits or want to go camping, two-week passes are available for $30 AUD per adult, $15 AUD for kids, or $75 AUD for a family. There’s also a yearly pass option.

Again, if you live in the Territory, you don’t need to purchase a pass, but you should have ID to show the rangers like a valid driver’s license. And if you’re bringing visitors with you who aren’t locals, they will need a Park Pass!

Another cost to factor into your visit is if you plan on camping in the park. Camping fees have gone up, but are still pretty reasonable. There are different categories of campsites available that range from $10-$20 AUD per night for adults or there are family rates for $25-$50 AUD nightly. All campsites must be booked online on the Northern Territory Parks website.

4. When is the best time to visit Litchfield National Park?  

Daniel and Bailey on a floating bed in Litchfield National Park
Ahh my happy place!

The best time of year to experience Litchfield National Park is during the dry season. The official dry season runs from May through October, with June-August being the busiest months. During the dry season, most of the roads and attractions are open, and the weather is the nicest.  

The park is open year-round, but some roads and attractions may be closed during the rainy season from November to April. That being said, the waterfalls (especially Wangi Falls and Florence Falls) will be at their most epic during the rainy months, so people still come to visit – just not in droves like during the dry season.  

Speaking of the crowds, during the dry season, the park can be quite busy – especially during those peak mid-day hours. If you want to have a quieter visit (and more room to swim!), we recommend getting here in the early morning or late afternoon. Spending the night in the park is another great way to beat the crowds and explore all the park has to offer – plus starting the day with a refreshing swim near a waterfall sounds like my perfect day!  

5. Can you visit Litchfield National Park in the wet season?  

Daniel at Wangi Falls during the wet season in Litchfield National Park
Daniel at Wangi Falls during the wet season in Litchfield National Park

Yup, it is possible to visit Litchfield National Park during the rainy season and we have! If you love chasing waterfalls (guilty over here!), this is actually the ideal time because that heavy rain makes the falls even more majestic and powerful.

However, your options for exploring the park are more limited in the rainy season. You might be disappointed to drive all this way and find that some of the roads are completely closed, blocking access to attractions like the The Lost City.

As well, saltwater crocodiles tend to move further into the park during the rainy season. Many of the best swimming spots will be closed because the floods open them up to crocodiles – and it is definitely not safe to swim with the salties! 

But if the rainy season is the only time you have available to visit, there is still plenty to see. Wangi Falls and Florence Falls are two of the major attractions in the park and both of those remain open all year long. Many of the more easily accessible hikes will be open as well.  

Four-wheel drive trips around the park are really popular, and most of those tracks are closed during the wet season. This means you won’t be able to access some of the more remote areas that do require a 4×4.  

Closures change regularly depending on conditions and rainfall, so it is always a good idea to check road closures online before you visit so that you won’t be disappointed. The rains are extremely intense and reach monsoon level, so some areas are just not safe to visit from November through April.  

6. What are the best tours to Litchfield National Park?  

If it’s your very first time visiting Litchfield National Park, we highly recommend booking a tour. The park is expansive and can be difficult to navigate on your own as a first-time visitor.

Sure, you can see the top attractions like Wangi and Florence Falls, but tours with local guides will ensure that you get to experience the wild and wonderful nature that Litchfield is known for. Booking a tour is well worth the additional expense, and there are options to fit every budget.

In order to help you make the most of your visit, we’ve included six of our very favorite tours within the park below!   

Litchfield National Park and Jumping Crocodile Cruise  

Bailey swims at Bluey Rockhole in Litchfield National Park
Bailey swims at Buley Rockhole in Litchfield National Park
A crocodile leaps from the water on a jumping crocodile cruise in Darwin
So cool!

Okay, so for a real taste of the outback, this Jumping Crocodile Cruise is my pick! The Adelaide River near Darwin is FULL of saltwater crocs – it’s one of the best places in the world to see these beasts. We went on this exact tour and would go again in a heartbeat. We even wrote an entire in-depth guide on this jumping croc cruise if you want more info!

What sets this tour apart is that the boat is smaller with a single viewing level only about half a meter (1.5 feet) out of the water. There’s still an aluminum cage around the platform, so you’re safe but way closer to the action than other boats.

Next, the guide is your very own “Crocodile Dundee” who knows a ton about these crocs and makes the tour entertaining and fun. If you’re lucky enough to have Pat as a guide as we did, you’re in for a fantastic tour. Pat lives right on the river and knows saltwater crocs like the back of his hand … just wait until you hear the story about the croc who took his hat!

Of course, the real stars of the show are the crocs themselves. Raw chicken is put on a stick outside of the boat and the crocodiles hunt it just like an animal in the wild and then jump out of the water to grab it! Seeing these kings of the river up close (all 1,000 kg/2,200 lbs of them!) is amazing. Remember to have your camera along!

The tour also includes transportation from Darwin, lunch AND visits to some of the highlights of Litchfield National Park. You’ll get some swimming time in Wangi Falls and Buley Rockhole along with a stop at Florence Falls. So don’t forget to bring your swimsuit!

All in all, it’s a full day with some amazing experiences packed into the 11 hours. This is a fantastic way to see the area if it’s your first time or you’re just looking to have a fully-planned day where you don’t have to worry about a thing. I definitely felt like Indiana Jones on this tour!

The tour is $199 AUD per person and there’s a maximum of 24 travelers, so it’s not too big of a group. It also leaves earlier in the morning than other tours so you’ll beat the crowds to the best spots … and get a great chance of seeing lots of crocs! We saw tons of female crocs and one humongous male croc. It’s the females that jump the highest though!

For a day full of crocodile spotting and exploring the national park, make sure you grab a spot on this tour online!

Litchfield National Park Day Tour from Darwin  

Birds eye view of Florence Falls  

Another one of the fantastic tours from Darwin is this small-group tour to see the highlights of Litchfield National Park along with a jumping croc cruise along the Adelaide River. While it’s very similar to the previous tour mentioned, this tour is about an hour longer and a good option if you’re a last-minute booker and one of the previous tours is sold out!

The tour starts with hotel pickup and then a visit to the magnetic termite mounds which are really cool to see, even if you’re not a bug person! Then it’s off for a swim beneath the falls at Florence Falls – a place I never get tired of swimming at. Keep your swimsuit on because the next stop is Wangi Falls where you’ll have an hour and a half to swim and enjoy a picnic lunch.

The final swimming spot is at Buley Rockhole which is one of the best swimming holes in Litchfield! It doesn’t get much more relaxing than this when you’re out in deep Top End country.

The grand finale is a jumping crocodile cruise where you’ll get on a small river boat to see the saltwater crocs leap out of the water to feast before your eyes. The guides know these crocs by name, which somehow makes them a little less scary, although I still have a healthy respect for these guys!

This full-day tour is $225 AUD and caps off at 20 people. To make sure you’re one of them, reserve a spot on this tour online here with Viator!

Litchfield National Park and Fogg Dam or Crocodile Cruise  

Adelaide River Jumping Crocs in Darwin, Australia
Only meters from a jumping crocodile in the Adelaide River, Darwin

This day trip out from Darwin is a choose-your-own adventure-type of tour where you have options on what you want to see! You’ll start by meeting at the Travelodge Resort in Darwin and then your guide will take you to either a river cruise with jumping crocodiles or the Fogg Dam Conservation Centre. You get to pick! 

The Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve is on the land of the Limilngan-Wulna people, who help in its management. This nature reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife. You can see all kinds of birds, bats, turtles, pythons, and even saltwater crocodiles here. 

If you want a little more action while you’re stopping in, pick the jumping crocodile cruise where you’ll get to see the crocodiles out in the river performing their incredible acrobatics to get the bait hanging off the boat. An excellent way to get an action shot worth bragging about!

After your cruise or visit to Fogg Dam, your tour guide will help you get to some of the park’s best, hidden waterfalls. You’ll start at Florence Falls where you’ll get to go for a swim beneath the crashing river water as it pours down the cascading plunge pools. 

After Florence Falls, you’ll either visit Buley Rockhole for another swim or Wangi Falls for some more waterfall action. Once you’re finished, you’ll get to visit the termite mounds that are so famous around here. 

This tour is either $220 AUD if you opt for the croc cruise or $175 AUD per person for the Fogg Dam option. Either way, you’re in for a fun day of exploring when you book this Litchfield tour online!

6-Day Kakadu, Katherine, and Litchfield National Park Camping Expedition  

Rock art in Kakadu National Park
Rock art in Kakadu National Park
Scenic view over Katherine in the Northern Territory of Australia
Scenic view over Katherine in the Northern Territory of Australia

For an epic Australian experience, this multiday camping trip takes you to some major national parks in the area including Kakadu and Litchfield along with some time to explore the scenic township of Katherine.

You’ll start with time in the must-see Kakadu National Park. You’ll see ancient Aboriginal rock art, hike to some spectacular views of the Arnhem Land sandstone plateau, take a cruise on the East Alligator River, and do some four-wheel driving to waterfalls.

Around the Katherine area, you’ll get to take part in some cultural activities at the Top Didj Gallery and spend a morning cruising the spectacular Nitmiluk Gorge. Of course, you won’t miss out on Litchfield National Park either! Days 5 and 6 include some of the best parts of the park including epic waterfalls.

For the traveler who wants to see it all, this six-day guided camping trip is the perfect blend of outdoor adventure, premium campsites, and guides who know the area inside and out. You’ll really get the full experience this way without the hassle of deciphering which trails are best or what campsites have showers and toilets!

The trip is also family-friendly so if you’re seeing the Top End with kids, this is a way to get a family vacation to remember! You can book this multi-day tour online here.

60-Minute Scenic Flight over Litchfield National Park  

Many of the attractions in Litchfield National Park are best seen from above! That’s why this scenic flight over Litchfield National Park gives you an hour-long ride in a helicopter to take it all in. You’ll see hidden waterfalls, winding monsoon rivers, and The Lost City from a bird’s eye view. 

In the wet season, seeing the waterfalls and other highlights are only possible from above since they are closed off to foot and vehicle traffic. You’ll get to witness the rush of overflowing waterfalls and rivers after torrential rains, something you really won’t want to miss if you’re there at the right time! 

You’ll also take a different route back to Darwin to loop around and see hundreds of magnetic termite mounds and Darwin River Dam – which holds as much water as half of Sydney Harbour!

The pilots are super friendly and love what they do, making for a great experience whether you’re in Darwin for only a day or a month. While tickets aren’t cheap at $799 AUD each, there’s really nothing quite like seeing the park from above. So check it off your bucket list by booking your spot on this helicopter flight!

Litchfield Park Scenic Flight from Darwin  

Birds eye view of Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park
Bird’s eye view of Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park

Another great option for seeing Litchfield from above (and feeling like a real VIP!), is this private scenic flight in a light passenger plane. The tour starts at Darwin airport and flies you over the park’s waterfalls and rivers for an hour. 

Since this is a private flight, you’re guaranteed a window seat! And you’ll want it with these views. Flying over the Darwin River Dam, The Lost City, Sandy Creek Falls and so much more. What’s great is the pilot takes a different route when flying to Litchfield National Park and on the way back to Darwin. You get in even more scenery, it feels like a whole different flight!

You’ll need a minimum of two people to book the flight, but it can accommodate groups of up to 10 people. While I don’t mind group tours, there’s something about having a personalized experience like this with just your family or friends that makes it extra special! It’s also a bit cheaper than the helicopter flight at $510 AUD per person.

These scenic plane flights are popular and since they only accommodate one flight at 9 am each day, it books up fast! So make sure to reserve your flight over Litchfield National Park online with Viator and then you can take advantage of the book now, pay later option!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

7. What are the best places to visit in Litchfield National Park?   

Buley Rockhole  

Bailey poses for a photo at Bluey Rockhole  in Litchfield National Park, Darwin
This is one of the most popular places to swim!

Buley Rockhole is a popular swimming hole made of a series of natural rock pools located among streams flowing through Litchfield National Park. I think it’s like a multi-level swimming pool! There are a variety of places to swim from shallow rock pools to smaller plunge pools that are a bit deeper. I love jumping off the small cliffs here!

The water is clear and cool, some may say a bit too cold, but I found it refreshing in the summer! What’s nice too is that there are plenty of places to lounge and enjoy the view if you don’t feel like swimming.

To get to the location of Buley Rockhole, you’ll be following the same access road that leads to Florence Falls, but you’ll take the first turnoff for Buley. There is a small parking lot here, but if it’s full, you can use the car park at Florence Falls and walk.

Buley is open all year long but if there are heavy rains it may be shut down temporarily.

Wangi Falls  

Swimming at Wangi Falls inside Litchfield national Park
Daniel in the secret rock pool at Wangi Falls  
Daniel in the secret rock pool at Wangi Falls  

If you’ve ever wanted to swim near a waterfall, Wangi Falls is the place to be! This segmented waterfall on Wangi Creek is located on the west side of the park and is one of the best waterfalls near Darwin.

The pool at the bottom of the waterfall is a really popular swimming spot as it’s a large, deep pool that allows you to swim right by the falls. This is one of the most accessible places to swim since the pathway is paved all the way from the parking lot to the water. There’s even a handrail leading down the few steps into the water. Beware that it does get deep quickly!

My favorite spot at Wangi Falls is the small little natural pool formed from the waterfall that’s located about a third of the way up the waterfall’s cliffside. We’ve definitely spent some time relaxing here with a beer or two in hand!

You’ll only be able to swim during the dry season though as it closes when the heavy rains from the wet season mean that crocodiles can get in.

If you want to take a break from swimming or want to spend a bit more time here, there’s a picnic area with tables and a few gas barbeques. There’s also the Wangi Falls Cafe that’s open seasonally for takeaway if you’re hungry. You can even stay overnight at the Wangi Campground nearby.

For hikes, I like the Wangi Falls Loop Walk. It takes about 40 minutes or so and has some steeper sections, but there’s a nice viewing platform at the base of the falls. Just remember, you can’t swim at the top of the falls!

Florence Falls  

Florence Falls in Darwin, Australia
Florence Falls in Darwin, Australia

On the north side of the park, lies the beautiful Florence Falls. This double waterfall spills into a secluded pool that’s perfect for swimming.

To get to the location of the falls, you’ll follow the same access road as Buley Rockhole but just drive a bit further up. Now while Wangi Falls is easier to get to, Florence Falls is worth the hike! If you’re just wanting to see the falls, it’s a quick 5-minute walk from the car park to the Florence Falls Lookout. However, if you’re after a swim, it’s about a 30-45 minute trek that includes walking down 160 stairs!

By the end of the walk, I definitely felt like I earned that dip in the water! Those twin cascades are just stunning and you can swim right up to them. No wonder it’s one of the most popular attractions in Litchfield National Park!

The wet season or the very beginning of the dry season is the best time to see Florence Falls as all of that water will make the falls that much more spectacular. However, you can visit year-round.

You can camp in one of the campgrounds near the falls – just be aware of which one you’re booking as several in the area require a 4WD to get to.

Walker Creek 

A groupd of people at walker creek in Litchfield National Park
Walker Creek!

Walker Creek is a popular spot for swimming with some of the best campsites in the area alongside it, especially if you’re looking to get away from the crowds. You can swim in the creek near the picnic areas which aren’t far from the parking lot or there are more areas to swim including a rock pool near the campsites.

It’s not hard to get to Walker Creek by car but if you’re camping here be aware that you have to hike with all your gear from the parking lot to your site. There are eight campsites here with the furthest being a 1.8 km/1.1 mile walk from the parking lot.

Magnetic Termite Mounds  

Magnetic Termite Mounds in Litchfield National Park, Darwin
They are huge!

A trip to Litchfield isn’t complete without seeing the magnetic termite mounds, some of which are over 100 years old. You can see large fields of these structures with each of them standing up to nine feet high.  

The mounds are so named because they are aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field. They are flat on the side, with each mound facing north and south like a compass which helps regulate the temperature and humidity inside of the mound. 

The best place to see these natural wonders is on the north side of the park off Litchfield Park Road where there are information boards nearby to share all the fascinating details. 

Tolmer Falls  

Bailey at the Tolmer Falls viewpoint in Litchfield National Park, Darwin
Tolmer Falls is a must-visit!

The enormous Tolmer Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the area and, although swimming is not allowed, it’s still a worthwhile stop to take in the views.

Tolmer Falls is open year-round. If you’re here in the wet season, this is a great option as the heavy rains make the falls that much more spectacular. 

You can drive to the Tolmer Falls Lookout and then hike in from the parking lot, no 4WD is required. From the car park, it’s a short walk to the lookout where you’ll see rock formations and trees all the way out to the horizon in one direction and the spectacular waterfall the other way.

Sandy Creek Falls 

Sandy Creek Falls  in Litchfield National Park, Northern territory
Sandy Creek Falls in Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory

Also known as Tjaynera Falls, Sandy Creek Falls is only accessible by 4WD (and a hike!) making it one of the more hidden and secluded attractions in the park.

The journey out is a bit rough in places and a long walk (1.7 km/1 mile each way) but it’s well worth the effort. Once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning sight: a huge waterfall cascading into a crystal-clear pool. You can swim here and since it’s harder to get to than some of the other waterfalls in Litchfield, we’ve found it doesn’t get nearly as busy.

I’m sure the falls are incredible in the wet season, but you should not count on being able to access it anytime but during the dry season. 

Lost City Rock Formations 

Lost City Rock Formations in Litchfield National Park
Lost City Rock Formations in Litchfield National Park

Accessible only by 4WD on a path that will challenge even the most experienced drivers, The Lost City is one of the most popular destinations in the park.  

The Lost City isn’t actually a city, but the mazelike formations of these wind-carved rocks could convince you otherwise. Estimated to be 500 million years old, these sandstone formations will give you the Indiana Jones spark you made the trek to the Top End for. 

The Lost City is closed in the wet season as the dirt track here is completely impassable. If you’ve never driven 4WD before you should seriously consider getting someone to help you get to your destination as the 10 km (6.2-mile) path is rocky and treacherous. 

Tjaetaba Falls 

At the end of a short, moderate hike along Greenant Creek you will find Tjaetaba Falls. It’s about a 20-30 minute walk to the falls from the Tjaetaba Falls car park and if you go first thing in the morning on a weekday, you may even get the place to yourself!

You can’t swim at the bottom of the waterfall, but you can swim at the top! It’s a small pool, but very scenic. You can swim here in both the wet season and the dry season too. Make sure not to swim in the pool or areas downstream of the falls as this is a sacred site where swimming is not allowed.

Surprise Creek 

Looking to swim and camp off the beaten path? Surprise Creek is a great place to stay in Litchfield Park overnight away from the crowds. From the car park, it’s a quick walk through the forest to a large pool and the surprise is if you can find the hidden pools above!

It’s only accessible by 4WD so plan ahead if you want to visit. That also means it won’t be available during the wet season as the 4WD trails are closed at that time. 

Visit the Batchelor Museum 

Batchelor Museum
Photo credit: Batchelor Museum

The tiny town of Batchelor is known as the gateway to Litchfield National Park. If you have a bit of time to spare, I highly recommend stopping into the Batchelor Museum on your way in. 

It’s a great place for history buffs as there are several exhibits describing the involvement of Australia in World War II, as the Batchelor Aerodrome was a base for Allied Air operations during the war.

There are exhibits on the Aboriginal people, the early settlers, and the town’s role in the uranium mining industry. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm and admission is $5 AUD and kids 12 and under are free.  

8. Are there crocodiles in Litchfield National Park?  

A crocodile swims in freshwater in Litchfield National Park, Darwin
Be careful, especially in the wet season, and watch out for closures!

Yup!! Many species call Litchfield National Park home, including crocs. All year round there are freshwater crocodiles and in the wet season, saltwater crocodiles can get into some of the attractions causing them to close. Again, nobody wants to swim with a salty!  

Before the dry season, park rangers check the area to ensure no saltwater crocs are hanging around where they shouldn’t – like the popular swimming spots. There will be signs up throughout the park if and when you need to be on the lookout for crocs, so make sure to watch for those.

Overall Litchfield is very safe in the dry season, but make sure to follow signs and if in doubt, ask a ranger. Crocodile attacks are very rare and there are precautions to prevent them as Litchfield is a “barrier and removal zone” for crocs, so there are barriers set up in the dry season and crocodiles can be trapped and removed from the area.

9. How long do you need to visit Litchfield National Park?  

A full day is great but if you can swing it, two days is ideal. This gives you extra time to explore the attractions and see all that you want to without rushing.

We recommend staying in or around the park for a night or two to make the most of your time. There are plenty of excellent accommodation options around the park (even if you’re not a camper!) that we will get into next.

10. Where can you stay in Litchfield National Park?  

Hideaway Litchfield  
Photo credit: Hideaway Litchfield  

Litchfield National Park has some amazing options for visitors who want to stay overnight.

If you are looking to get up close and personal with nature, we recommend checking out some of the more secluded campsites. Or if you’re looking for a relaxing experience with a little bit of luxury (without the bugs!), check out some of the hotels near Litchfield.

We’ve included some of our favorite places around the park including both camping and hotels, to help you find the perfect place to stay.  

Hotels near Litchfield National Park

Hideaway Litchfield  

A great couple’s getaway, Hideaway Litchfield is located on the western edge of the park right outside the gates. The luxury modern lodges offer comfy accommodations with everything you need in a villa that you’ll have completely to yourself. It’s so close to the park to experience all the outdoor attractions and means you can be the first to the waterfalls in the morning!

The hotel also offers free WiFi and parking. The staff members are friendly, the lodges are spaced apart enough to give privacy, and the scenery is beautiful. It’s a minimum 2-night stay for approximately $840 AUD and the lodges tend to book up quickly in the dry season, so make sure to reserve your villa online here!

Litchfield Tourist Park 

For a great mid-range option, Litchfield Tourist Park is located between the town of Batchelor and Litchfield National Park – only a 3-minute drive from one of the park’s entrances! With private bungalows with outdoor balconies, an on-site restaurant and bar, and an outdoor swimming pool, this hotel wants to make sure that you are living large in the outback. 

This is a great option for families or groups of friends since you can book one or two-bedroom bungalows. It’s also reasonable for the amount of space you’re getting at $170-$270 AUD depending on the bungalow size you choose. Check for availability and deals on Booking.com!

Campgrounds in Litchfield National Park

There are six campgrounds to stay at in the park – each with a different category rating (A, B, or D) that corresponds with the level of facilities available and what fees will be changed. All must be booked in advance online through the park’s reservation website.

There are a few things to remember when camping here:

  • All water must be boiled before drinking
  • Take all garbage with you (there are no rubbish bins)
  • Firewood can be collected for campfires from along the main Litchfield Park Road
  • Stay on all marked roads and trails
  • No pets, generators, or fireworks are allowed
Camping at Wangi Falls Camping Area  
Camping at Wangi Falls Camping Area  

Wangi Falls Camping Area  

Offering more facilities than almost any other campsite in the park, Wangi Falls Campground is one of our favorite places to camp in Litchfield National Park! It’s perfect if you want to stay next to the popular Wangi Falls swimming hole.  

You can access the campground in all types of vehicles including cars and caravans/campers. The site offers toilets, picnic tables, and shower rooms. It’s a Category A campground which is $15 AUD per adult, $8 AUD per child (ages 5-17), or $38 AUD per family of two adults and two children.

Florence Falls Campground  

Walking distance from Florence Falls is Florence Falls Campground, this campsite also offers lots of amenities including toilets, showering facilities, and picnic tables.  

There are campsites you can reach in a 2WD, but some of the lower campsites are only accessible by 4WD so make sure you know which one you are booking. There are walking tracks from both campgrounds that lead to the falls.

This is another Category A campground so fees are $15 AUD per adult, $8 AUD per child (ages 5-17), or $38 AUD per family of two adults and up to four children.

Walker Creek Campground  

A Category B campground, Walker Creek has fewer facilities than the first two sites listed but it makes up for that with the charm of secluded escape. You’ll be off the beaten trail with the eight campsites here!

Every site has a firepit and easy access to great swimming spots at Walker Creek. If you happen to get campsite 6, you’ll be right by a nice rock pool!

You can get to Walker Creek with 2WD, but you’ll have to hike into your campsite. The furthest campsite from the parking lot is a 1.8 km (1.1 mile) hike. This Category B campground costs $10 AUD per adult, $5 AUD per kid ages 5-17, or $25 AUD for the family rate.

Surprise Creek Falls  

One of the more remote camping sites in the park, Surprise Creek Falls is only accessible by 4WD. Its claim to fame are the many waterfalls that all cascade into cauldron-like swimming spots.

The amenities are light, with only an outhouse available. Make sure to bring your own toilet paper! This is a Category B site with nightly rates of $10 AUD per adult, $5 AUD per child ages 5-17, or $25 AUD for a family.

Tjaynera Falls (Sandy Creek Falls)  

Another remote campsite, Sandy Creek Falls is only accessible by 4WD. The site offers toilet and shower facilities along with firepits. This campsite is great for those wanting to experience deep wilderness camping without sacrificing amenities. 

It’s another Category B campground with prices per night of $10 AUD per adult, $5 AUD per child ages 5-17, and $25 AUD for a family.

Central Valley Campground

This campground is one of the only Category D campsites which are considered premium campgrounds with excellent locations and are accessed through a locked gate. The Central Valley Campgrounds are next to the East Reynolds River and are only available from May to November.

Pit toilets are available, but there are no showers or water supplied. You’ll need to collect an access key from the Park Head Office in Palmerston and only 4WD camper trailers are allowed.

As a Category D site, these are the most expensive campgrounds with nightly rates of $20 AUD per adult, $10 AUD per child (ages 5-17), or $50 AUD per family of up to six people.

11. Facilities in Litchfield National Park  

Florence Falls, Litchfield NP
Florence Falls, Litchfield NP

Overall facilities are limited in Litchfield National Park. This park map has a good breakdown of what’s available! There are toilets at most of the more popular destinations like Buley Rockhole and Wangi Falls but bring toilet paper with you in case none is provided. 

There are picnic sites and barbeques throughout the park and one cafe at Wangi Falls. There’s no gas station in the park though, so fill up in Batchelor before you get here!

Some locations also have drinking fountains, but the park recommends bringing your own water just in case it is turned off. You should also have a way to boil water to drink if you are camping. 

There are two ranger stations located in Litchfield National Park. The rangers are available to answer any questions you may have, and they also sell maps and souvenirs.

12. Do you need a 4WD to visit Litchfield National Park?  

A 4WD on a tour through Kakadu National Park, Australia
Unlike for Kakadu National Park, you don’t have to have a 4WD to visit most places!

No! Most of the roads to the main attractions in the park are sealed/paved. You’re totally fine to visit places like Buley Rockhole, Tolmer Falls, Florence Falls, and Walker Creek in a 2WD. The main roads through the park are well-maintained and easy to navigate in both the wet and dry seasons. 

That said, some places such as The Lost City and Surprise Creek are only accessible by 4WD as the roads are made of gravel and can be very rough and rocky. As well, certain remote campsites can only be reached with a 4WD, so double-check what campsite you’re booking depending on what type of vehicle you have.

Related Read: If you want to visit Kakadu National Park but don’t have a way to get there, these are the best Kakadu Tours from Darwin!

13. What should you bring to Litchfield National Park?  

A lizard in Litchfield National Park
Daniel relaxes in Litchfield National Park
Daniel relaxes in Litchfield National Park

Besides a sense of adventure, there are a few things you’ll want to bring along for your trip to Litchfield National Park!

  • Park Pass – remember this is mandatory unless you’re a local resident
  • Bug spray and sunscreen
  • Water – There isn’t water readily available inside the park or it may need to be boiled before drinking, so bring plenty of water along!
  • Food/snacks – high-energy ones are good if you’re planning on swimming or hiking
  • Sunglasses and a hat
  • Bathing suit and towel
  • Rain jacket – Litchfield National Park is home to monsoon forests and that means wet weather – even in the “dry” season
  • Comfy walking shoes
  • Camera!
  • And if you’re camping, you’ll need all the camping essentials (sleeping bag, flashlight, etc) and I’d also recommend a battery pack for your phone and trash bags since you must take all your garbage with you.

14. Are dogs allowed in Litchfield National Park? 

Unfortunately, your furry friend will have to stay home. No dogs are allowed in Litchfield National Park due to the abundant wildlife that is being preserved here. Service dogs are exempt from this rule, but must be kept on a leash under 3 meters/10 feet long at all times.  

15. Is Litchfield National Park worth visiting? 

A group of people in the secret rock pool at Wangi Falls  
Enjoy!
bailey and Daniel take a selfie at Bluey Rockhole in Litchfield National Park
Litchfield is a must-visit!

Litchfield National Park was one of the highlights of our trip to Australia’s Northern Territory. We can’t recommend visiting enough! Between the epic sandstone cliffs, gorgeous swimming holes, and magical waterfalls it was one of the most beautiful parts of our journey.

If you love getting into nature and spotting wildlife, Litchfield National Park is the place for you. If you’re in the Top End, don’t miss this incredible park. It’s only a 90-minute drive from Darwin and you’ll get to experience what it’s like deep out in the Australian wilderness. We love it! 

Renting a Car in Australia

Driving through the outback in a rental car in Australia
Outback Australia!

With many must-see destinations in Australia outside city limits, one of the best ways to get around is in a rental car.

Australia is a huge country and traveling between cities or getting to some of the most scenic spots requires driving. While public transit is sometimes an option, it often adds a lot of time and planning. Plus, we love the freedom of a rental car to stop wherever we want and not have to stick to a set schedule.

Car rental in Australia is super affordable, especially if you choose a smaller vehicle. We use the website DiscoverCars.com. It’s a search engine that compares multiple car rental companies for you – saving you from visiting each website individually.

If you plan to be based in a main city like Sydney, Melbourne, or Perth and do a few day trips while returning your car to the same location, we’ve booked rentals for as cheap as $25 AUD a day! Full coverage insurance can be added for around an extra $12 AUD a day too. The price will vary depending on the time of year, type of car, and if you’re able to pick up and drop off at the same location.

Discover Cars also offers handy filters so you can search for cars that offer features like child seats, GPS, or let you have an additional driver. There are also free cancellation options if your trip changes. Read our honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

Check out the selection and book your car rental online here!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie inside Litchfield National Park
Thanks for reading!

Hopefully, this guide on all the things you need to know before visiting Litchfield National Park was helpful! We love this part of the Northern Territory as it feels like a total escape. Whether we are wandering around the mystical Lost City, swimming near a waterfall, or camping under the stars, Litchfield has a little piece of our hearts.

If Litchfield National Park and exploring the NT is on your travel itinerary, make sure to check out our other Australia blogs for more ideas and inspiration. We would love to help you discover hidden gems and have the best time traveling around this amazing country.

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