Located only an hour or so away from Darwin this National Park is home to some amazing waterfalls and swimming holes. The park is open all year round, however some unsealed roads are closed during the wet season.
We arrived shortly before lunch and found the Wangi campground completely full. Visiting during the peak tourist season in July has its drawbacks. We promptly followed the signs and shot over to the Buley Rockhole campsite where there were plenty of spots. We grabbed a site big enough for the camper trailer and did the self registration thing.
The temperature was hovering somewhere in the thirties so we made the short stroll over to Buley Rockhole. This is a combination of pools and short drop falls making it an ideal place for a swim. It was also the middle of the school holiday period so it was pretty busy but there was room for everyone to enjoy.
The next day we made our way back over to the Wangi Falls area. This is the park’s most well known attraction. The dual falls plummet into a large swimming hole that is accessible via some man-made steps.
As it was still early in the day we elected to take the walking path through the surrounding forest up the hill, where we spied some bats sleeping in the canopy. The view from the lookout was a little over grown, but still worth the effort.
The grounds next to Wangi have been developed into a nice picnic area with large expanse of lawn and picnic tables. There’s also a kiosk, but we didn’t bother to check it out.
Next stop was at Tolmer Falls. There is a short easy walk down to a lookout platform providing views of the waterfall. The view of the surrounding countryside wasn’t too shabby either.
Finally after a quick stop back at camp for lunch we visited Florence Falls. This was a nice walk, again mostly shaded but with some steep sections to a viewing platform overlooking the fall and swimming hole below. Following the path for the full loop brings you past the swimming hole and back along the flat path next to the creek, eventually returning you to the car park.
We had collected firewood prior to entering the park, so as we had a fire pit adjacent to our site we settled in for the evening, enjoying the amazing night sky overhead.
After a leisurely breakfast we packed up camp and headed out of the park having thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We had one more stop to make on our way out, which was to visit the magnetic termite mounds.
These termite mounds, some of which can reach a height of 4 meters, are flat and narrow, aligned on a north-south axis to ensure that the least amount surface space is exposed to the sun. This design allows the mounds to maintain a more regular temperature during the extremes of the weather they face in this part of the world, and keep above the flood level during the wet season.
The short boardwalk provided a good view of these astonishing mounds, even if they do look a little like a cemetery full of tombstones.