Tuesday, November 29, 2011

camping in Litchfield: not for the faint of heart

I'm so glad that we are using our weekends wisely these days. we went to Litchfield National Park on Friday, and camped overnight. it was fabulous. I might sound lame, but I actually learned a lot. Blake was, of course, the best guide. he showed us all the best places. when we drove in, there were literally termite mounds as far as the eye could see. the one in the photo was at least 15 feet tall, and very skinny. the termites build them that way so they get the least amount of direct sunlight possible. ah, evolution.

Cascade falls
our first stop was Cascade Falls. we hiked UPHILL for what seemed like forever. the sound of the falls alone was almost enough to make me jump with joy (though jumping would be quite impossible because my legs were JELLY at this point). all the sweat and misery was totally worth it. we changed into our bathers and climbed over slippery rock after slippery rock to reach the falls. as soon as we sat down under the water, we realized that our hands were covered in little bitty leeches, but we couldn't be bothered. the falls were amazing, and it was most welcome, leeches and all, after all it took to get there.

just hanging out on a waterfall, no biggie
Wangi falls
next, we visited Wangi Falls, which we couldn't swim in due to the presence of the very elusive snapping gecko. they were beautiful from afar, anyway. we had the opportunity to hike to the top of the falls, but it was quite a long way. at least is was for someone like me (aka terribly unfit).

we had a lunch break before hopping over to Buley Rockhole for a swim. there were TONS of people, and it was such a great spot. the water was cold and deep enough to swim around a bit. I could have sat there all day, but we didn't want to wait long enough for the mozzies to attack, so we went back to camp. it was here that I discovered that I had gotten a slight sunburn. a bit of lotion, a lot of water, and a couple Panadol, and I was right as rain.

home sweet campsite
Florence falls {photo © Carlee}
at the campsite, Blake cooked up some snags and steak for dinner. so delicious! I swear, food tastes so much better over a campfire after a long day of hiking and swimming. we chatted and had some beers for a while (mozzie-free!) before calling it a night.

the next morning, I woke up bright and early to the smell of breakfast cooking, and Hannah and Carlee woke up soon after. once again, a fantastic meal. bacon and eggs never tasted so good.

standing on a rock! {photo © Carlee}
soon after breakfast, we packed up camp and headed off to Florence Falls. this was my favorite spot by far. two waterfalls emptying into a huge rock hole. the swimming was perfect, and the company was wonderful. the girls and I swam out under one of the falls and jumped off the rocks, and had a ball. I could have stayed there for days on end.

after a couple hours of swimming, we moved on to Tolmer Falls. there was a viewing platform, but no swimming, because they are protecting a cave where endangered bats live. we spent a while taking in the last leg of our Litchfield trip before heading home. Blake stopped for petrol and surprised us some freeze pops which were just what we needed after basking in the heat all weekend.

Tolmer falls, photo © Hannah

I am so excited that we finally got to go to Litchfield (thanks to Blake)! I only wish we had time to visit Kakadu during our stay. it's much farther away, and much larger and more remote. for now, Litchfield will do. despite the sunburn, and having more flies in my face than I care to acknowledge, this weekend couldn't have been more perfect.

I couldn't keep my camera away from all the beautiful rocks we saw in the park, so here are a few photos. I was also amazed how plants and trees grew straight out of the rocks! incredible.

1 comment:

  1. wow that looks amazing! i love waterfall hikes :) especially when it's hot.. my boyfriend and i did yosemite falls this summer- the highest waterfall in north america! we couldn't go near the water because it is SO strong.. but the mist was so nice in the 95 degree heat!

    ah i really want to go hiking now! it would be amazing if this weekend would cooperate and not snow or anything!

    glad you're taking advantage of your weekends and seeing these amazing places! so awesome :)


thanks for commenting on my blog! if you're an anonymous commenter, please leave your name so I can send you some love!