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7 BEST Darwin Waterfalls

Last updated : December 23rd, 2019

waterfalls near darwin


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If you love “chasing waterfalls” then Darwin, Australia is the perfect place to do so! Here are 7 amazing Darwin waterfalls including some important information for visiting them!


7 Amazing Waterfalls near Darwin, Australia

One of the best things about the city of Darwin is its close proximity to amazing national parks and waterfalls! In the dry season, waterfalls make some of the best places to spend an afternoon as you can actually swim in most of them!

These are the most impressive Darwin waterfalls that you should definitely go check out:

1. Wangi Falls

wangi falls in litchfield
Wangi Falls is one of the closest of the big Darwin waterfalls.
Distance from Darwin? 
132 km (approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes driving)
Is camping available? Yes, only across the road from the car park there is a full-facility campground run by Litchfield National Park
Swimming Allowed? Only when signed. Closed for swimming during the wet season.

Wangi Falls is located in Litchfield National Park which is one of the most remote places in Australia. It is actually the biggest waterfall in Litchfield National Park with a huge area for swimming at the bottom.

Unfortunately, Wangi Falls is closed for swimming during the wet season, but it is still open for viewing and there is a hike to the top with some great views.

pool at wangi falls
Hanging out in the cliff beside Wangi Falls!

My favorite part about Wangi Falls is the small little natural pool formed from the waterfall. About 1/3 of the way up the waterfalls cliff, there is a small natural pool. This tiny pool is perfect for relaxing with a beer in hand. Be careful getting there though, the rocks are slippery!

Getting to Wangi Falls from Darwin: You can either drive yourself (get a rental car if you need one) or join an organized day tour!

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2. Florence Falls

florence falls near darwin
Doesn’t that look like the perfect place to swim?!
Distance from Darwin? 144 km (1 hour and 45 minutes driving)
Is camping available?  Yes. It is near the car park, up the stairs from Florence Falls. Operated by Litchfield National Park.
Swimming allowed? Yes, all year round (except for odd times during the wet season where there is severe flooding.)

Florence Falls is actually two waterfalls with a swimming area and river at the bottom.

There is a beautiful nature walk you must do in order to reach the falls with the opportunity to spot some wildlife. If you don’t see any wildlife on the walk don’t worry, you’ll be guaranteed to be swimming with the fish while taking a dip in Florence Falls!

Florence Falls are only accessible by several stairs so be prepared for the climb!

camping at litchfield in florence falls campground
Daniel, cooking up a storm at the Florence Falls campsite.

Florence Falls is my favorite out of all of the waterfalls near Darwin to camp at during the summer! Florence Falls are generally less busy than Wangi and have great camping facilities with little fire pits and hot plates for cooking at each campsite.

Getting to Florence Falls from Darwin: If you’ve rented a car or have your own you can drive there! If not, an organized day tour to Litchfield National Park is your other option!


3. Buley Rockhole Pools

buley rockhole pools
Distance from Darwin? 142 km (1 hour and 45 minutes driving)
Is camping available? Yes. A new facility has been built and is managed by Litchfield National Park.
Swimming allowed? Buley Rockhole Pools are open all year round except in extreme circumstances where there has been an unusual amount of rain.

Buley Rockhole Pools aren’t actually big waterfalls, but several small ones creating some multi-level swimming pools.

jumping in buley rockhole pools
Me, jumping into one of the pools!

While Buley Rockhole Pools aren’t the most impressive to look at, they are definitely the most fun to swim in! The many different pools, natural waterfalls, and small cliffs to jump from will keep you busy all afternoon!

If cliff jumping isn’t your thing, there are plenty of clam shallow pools too. You are actually allowed to drink here too so brink your esky of beer (cans only, no bottles allowed) and relax in a natural jet pool!

Getting to Buley Rock Pools from Darwin: Drive yourself on a day trip, or stay a night or two in one of the Litchfield campgrounds. Otherwise, there are lots of day tours available from Darwin!

Related Read:   33 Awesome Things to do in Darwin, Australia

Some great tours to see the best Darwin waterfalls in Litchfield National Park:


4. Edith Falls

edith falls top pool
The top pool at Edith Falls
Distance from Darwin? 293km (3 hours and 10 minutes driving)
Camping allowed? Yes! There is a huge grassy campground at the base of Edith Falls.
Swimming allowed? In some areas. Look for signs to ensure swimming is recommended in any one particular pool.

Edith Falls is actually closer to Katherine rather than Darwin but it’s well worth the drive! Edith Falls is unique because there are a few different waterfalls all in a row with different pools to swim in.

Edith Falls is just outside of the town of Katherine and quite close to the Katherine Gorge making it the perfect place to check out during any road trip to Katherine from Darwin!

edith falls
Daniel and a friend of ours, exploring the cliffs around Edith Falls.

It is a bit of a hike to get to the top swimming pool but it totally worth it for the refreshing swim and the view from the top!

Getting to Edith Falls from Darwin: You can drive yourself and spend a night in the campground or in Katherine town. Otherwise, there are some great tours available from Darwin!


5. Jim Jim Falls

incredible jim jim falls
Distance from Darwin? 348 km (5 hours and 30 minutes driving) in Kakadu National Park
Camping allowed? The closest campground is called Garnamarr Campground and it is located on the Jim Jim Falls access road.
Swimming allowed? Only in the main plunge pool. Don’t venture elsewhere in the area and go for a swim or you may become a crocodile’s lunch!

In terms of huge waterfalls, it doesn’t get much better than Jim Jim Falls. This amazingly tall waterfall hangs in a circular cave-like setting only accessible by a long and challenging walk.

You must hike along a trail, over boulders and rocks, and then (depending on the water levels) wade through a pool before you will get to see this majestic waterfall.

jim jim falls nature walk
Along the walk to Jim Jim Falls, you can just see the massive waterfall in the background.

The huge pool at the bottom is guaranteed to make you feel small and a little hesitant about swimming. But, go for it anyway! And if you dare, swim out to the far side of the pool and hang out on the rock edges nearest the waterfall.

Note: Jim Jim Falls is only open in the dry season by 4wd only. Check out Parks Australia or go to the visitor centre in Kakadu National Park for the latest road conditions.

Getting to Jim Jim Falls from Darwin: Either rent a 4wd (or take your own if you have one) and take a couple days exploring Kakadu! Alternatively, there are some great affordable 4wd Kakadu tours!


6. Gunlom Falls

Gunlom Falls view from the top of the falls
Me, at the top of Gunlom Falls!
Distance from Darwin? 330km (4 hours and 45 minutes driving) in Kakadu National Park.
Camping allowed? There is a campground at the base of the falls, only a few meters from the bottom plunge pool.
Swimming allowed? Yes, both in the bottom plunge pool and at the top of the falls in the natural infinity pool!

I love Gunlom Falls because of how much there is to do there! At the base of the waterfall, you can swim in a peaceful pool from a sandy beach that is easily accessible.

If you are a hiker, then you can hike to the top of the falls for an incredible view! And, if you need to cool off after that hike then the natural infinity pool at the top is the perfect reward.

gunlom falls natural infinity pool
Enjoying the view in Gunlom Falls’ natural infinity pool!

I recommend spending a night or two in the campground at the base of Gunlom Falls to really enjoy what the area had to offer.

Like most places in Kakadu National Park, Gunlom Falls are only open in the dry season.

Getting to Gunlom Falls from Darwin: Like Jim Jim Falls, Gunlom Falls is best visited on a multi-day trip from Darwin!

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7. Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)

barramundi gorge lookout
Looking out over Barramundi Gorge
Distance from Darwin? 357km (4 hours driving) in Kakadu National Park.
Camping allowed? Yes, at Maguk Campground. Accessible by 4wd only.
Swimming allowed? Yes, during the dry season only when it is open. Be careful exploring the rivers and pools at the top of the gorge, because of currents and hidden rocks it is recommended only to do so with a guide.

And last, but certainly not least, is Barramundi Gorge! This place is truly a treat, but to be honest, it is best explored with a guide or someone who is very familiar with the area. Why? Because there is so much to explore that you will never find safely on your own!

barramundi gorge
Daniel, relaxing in the Maguk plunge pool.

When we were there, our guide first took us hiking up to the top of the gorge. Besides beautiful views, we were greeted with natural small swimming pools that were ideal for relaxing.

Our guide then showed us around at the top of the gorge and had us jumping off cliffs, swimming through tunnels, and swimming in between rocks. It was quite an adventure activity and we loved every minute!

If climbing and swimming aren’t your things, then the bottom pool at Barramundi Gorge is just as beautiful! Here, you can go for a refreshing swim in the calm waters at the base of the waterfall.

Getting to Maguk from Darwin: Drive yourself and explore Kakadu over a couple of days, or take a Kakadu tour!

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Before you go…

we love darwin waterfalls
Don’t forget your plastic cups when exploring the waterfalls near Darwin, you are allowed to drink as long as you don’t use glass!

All of the waterfalls near Darwin are unique in their own way. If you love nature, swimming, and adventure then checking out all of these waterfalls near Darwin should be on your list of things to do!

Which is your favourite out of all of the waterfalls near Darwin? Tell us in the comments!

Spending more time in Darwin? Don’t forget to check out our blog on the best things to do in Darwin or our post on where to stay in Darwin.

-Bailey


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About the Author - destinationlesstravel

We are Dan and Bailey, just your typical thrill-seeking travelers! You will likely find us hiking, scuba diving, catching public transport, or just drinking beer at a hostel.

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