Top Destinations and Attractions – Northern Territory Traveler’s Panorama Guide

Planning to explore Northern Territory? Wanted to make it full and lasting holiday in this federal territory of Australia called as the country’s outback? You are in the right place to check and see what this full of desert landscapes has to offer.

This post will give some insights what places to see and visit in Northern Territory using some questions to know your travel preference.

1. Are you an Adventure Seeker?

I can truly say that people visited Northern Territory are adventurers. Why? Because most of the places to visit in this part of Australia requires physical activities like walking, trekking, climbing, swimming or combination.  It means that you cannot see the awesome places without doing an effort to see or experience it unless you wanted to see wonderful places from above through flying with helicopter which is different.  The lists below are a must-see.

Uluru (Ayers Rock) – Bush Walking, Walking, Trekking

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Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) – Trekking

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Kings Canyon – Trekking

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Litchfield National Park – Walking, Trekking, Swimming

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Nitmiluk National Park – Trekking, Swimming

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2. Are you a Scenic View Lover?

Northern Territory offers a lot of fascinating natural wonders, that sometimes even myself thinking how on earth these nature wonders ever created? The list below should not be missed.

Nitmiluk National Park

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Litchfield National Park

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Mount Conner Lookout

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Uluru / Ayers Rock Lookout

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Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

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Kings Canyon

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3. Are you a History and a Culture Buff?

Have you ever wondered that Northern Territory also offers its part of its history and culture based on the nature wonders that it offers? Yes, it is still correlated to each other and visitors like me wondered that the aboriginals that lives in this part of Australia are being proud of their own identity and community. Below list are recommended places for it.

Uluru (Ayers) Rock

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Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

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Strauss Airfield

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4. Are you a Shopaholic?

If you are still tend to buying stuff while in Northern Territory, I think the shopping experience you will have in this part of Australia will be a bit different compared when you are into buying things in the city, as most of the things you can buy around Northern Territory will reflect the culture of the Aboriginals or their local products which can be found in markets across the territory. Since both of my tour in the said territory are more on adventure tour, I do not have experience in doing shopping aside from basic needs like food and drinks. But I had visited and seen aboriginal arts stores across the territory.

5. Are you Just Chilling Out?

Do you want to travel in Northern Territory without exerting too much physical adventures just to reach amazing places in this part of Australia? And you just wanted to rest to unwind and become a bit of lazy? Here are some options for you to do that.

Alice Spring

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Darwin

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Notes :

Coming to Northern Territory for me is not a typical or ordinary travel that people usually does. Traveling in this part of Australia means, a great love for nature and willing to go beyond the comfort zone. And wanted to have an extraordinary travel or adventure. For people who are not adventurous enough and does not want to exhaust itself from lots of physical activities to reach the wonderful places in Northern Territory has a choice to do sightseeing in luxurious ways like bus tour or fly tour. And people like me who just had enough to do adventures chose to go in affordable way. I can’t afford luxury travel therefore I came in this part of Australia in most economical way that I can. I joined adventure tours where the cost was lower compared to other tour offerings, but these kind of tours has requirements, you must be up for adventures. If you are not, then, either you spend fortunes to travel in most comfortable way possible. In the end, everybody can still visit Northern Territory and enjoy it no matter how different ways it is.

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25 Reasons Why You Must Visit Northern Territory

Visiting or exploring Northern Territory in Australia is one of the best thing to do if you are in this continent country down under. The said territory offers variety of national parks with distinct characters on its own. Though I haven’t seen all of national parks such as Kakadu which I initially planned to explore but failed because of some unforeseen reason but the other parks that I got a chance to see did not fail me to amaze me and I truly admired them. There are so many reasons why people visiting Australia should try to explore this part of the country.

Below are the list of reasons which all of them I got a chance to see, visit, explore and experience while touring around Northern Territory.

1. Camel Farm (Camel Australia)

This camel farm was not too far from Alice Spring, anyone who haven’t experience camel ride adventure, on this farm everyone will get the chance the camel ride challenge of a lifetime.

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2. Erldunda

This place in Northern Territory is a homestead which is a great stopover station from a long drive either in Stuart Highway or Lasseter Highway. It offers accommodations, fuel refill and even shops in the middle of the remote desert.

3. Yulara

This is an isolated town where our group had spent overnight sleeping in a swag in an open camp site. A great outback experience for the night where you can enjoy stars before sleeping tight. This is also the town where most of the expensive accommodations located in Red Centre.

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4. Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Uluru is an island mountain rock with sacred significance to Aboriginal People lives in the area. Also called Ayers Rocks is commonly uses as Australia’s Outback landmark. Try to do the base walk instead of climbing the rock as respect to aboriginals request.

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5. Uluru Sunset Viewing Area

If you are not into walking at the base of Ayers Rock, then the Uluru Sunset Viewing area is for you which offers scenic view of Uluru from a distance. It gives the visitor a chance to take photos of the whole island mountain rock stands in the middle of remote wilderness.

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6. Mount Conner Lookout (Mount Conner View With Sand Dunes and Lake Across)

Along Lasseter Highway there is Mount Conner Lookout to appreciate the scenic view of the Mount Conner itself. Then, across the lookout, there is sand dunes where anyone can play and the lake view to enjoy beside it.

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7. Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

This lookout area is positioned in a good location to see both Uluru and Kata Tjuta in different times of the day to appreciate these two natural wonders exist in Red Centre.

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8. Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

Trekking “The Olgas” was one of a kind of journey that I had while at the Red Centre. Experiencing these amazing rock formations that grown like hills and mountains made me think how such things happened in this part of the world that made these rocks became wonderful on its own.

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9. George Gill Range

Coming from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and using Lasseter Highway, the George Gill is a long mountain range which said to be purely sandstone but while we were on the road this mountain range offers scenic views to anyone who passed the road. The mountain range also used by tourism for scenic flight adventure.

10. Kings Creek Station

This is the station where we stayed for an overnight before we trek Kings Canyon. Anybody who plan to adventure in the outback, this station offers accommodations, camping, even basic supplies to survive in remote wilderness, food and tours.

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11. Kings Canyon at Wattarka National Park

We had a trek within the Canyon Walk where we reached Cotterrils Lookout, crossed “Garden of Eden”, saw Rock Domes, Kings Creek and Lost City. We also experienced the Canyon Rim Walk with a breath-taking scenery to enjoy.

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12. Alice Springs

It is a town in Northern Territory located almost at the center of Australia and said to have equidistant between Darwin and Adelaide. When I got a chance be  in the city, I had few hours spent here which mostly because of my accommodation before the Red Centre adventure and before flying back to Melbourne. For me this town is an interesting one since the common job within the town are related to tourism, I am wondering how such small community able to survive in the middle of the desert

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13. Darwin and The Cav

I haven’t had a picture of tourist spot in Darwin because I only slept few hours in the city, as I was not really able to explore this city at the top end. But I will not forget the food that I tasted in “The Cav” (Cavenagh Hotel) where I stayed for an overnight before the overland adventure took place. The restaurant is famous for its steak menu and popular in Darwin which proven to be true.

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14. Strauss Airfield

Along Stuart Highway in Noonamah, Northern Territory, Strauss Airfield is situated just beside the highway. The historical airfield was built in 1942 during World War II. Only remnants can be found in the site as reminders of the airfield and its story since it was decommissioned after the war in 1945.

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15. Batchelor Town

Batcher Town is a small town to see in Batchelor Road. The town keeps and maintain the Replica of Karlstejn Castle at Havlik Park which named after Bernie Havlik whom made the huge rock into castle. Batchelor town is considered as the gateway to Litchfield National Park.

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16. Banyan Tree Caravan Park

Banyan Tree Caravan Park offers accommodations and has shop or store for a quick break or snack before doing the adventures in Litchfield National Park.

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17. Cathedral Termite (Nasutitermes Triodiae) Mounds

Everyone driving near or within Litchfield National Park will witness lots of termite mounds around the area. But two of gigantic termite mounts can be found here and called as Cathedral Termite Mounds

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18. Magnetic Termite or Compass Termite (Amitermes Meridionalis) Mounds

Another termite mound that will amaze visitors is a cemetery look-alike termite mounds called Magnetic Termite Mounds where the termites able to create a perfectly flat mound upward.

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19. Florence Falls (Karrimura)

Florence Falls is said to be a spiritual place in a sense that it is exclusive  to individual no matter you are near or far from people.

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20. Tolmer Falls

Tomer Falls is a spectacular falls within Litchfield National Park with high distant and deep plunge pool.

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21. Litchfield Cafe

Litchfield Cafe was the place where a cold buffet lunch is being offered but need to check if advance booking is a must. This restaurant is famous of their mango cheesecake desert.

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22. Wangi Falls

Wangi Falls is the most popular pool to visitors and the most accessible falls within Litchfield National Park.

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23. Edith Falls (Leliyn Falls)

Edith Falls or Leliyn Falls is a series of cascading waterfalls and pools on the Edith River in Nitmiluk National Park. With limited time in the waterfall, everyone can enjoy either in the base pool or main pool and the upper pool. For more adventurous one, a day trek to Sweetwater pool is a great one.

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24. Katherine Gorge

A quick hike to Baruwei Lookout offers stunning scenery of Nitmiluk National Park with Katherine River.

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25. Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

A site rich of aboriginal cultures which depicts in the arts found along the escarpment walls in Judbarra National Park.

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The above 25 reasons are my list and there are more reasons aside from above, to think that I haven’t visited the World Heritage Site Kakadu National Park. If I were you, I will plan to explore this part of Australia and you will not disappoint because you will enjoy the top end.

 

Top 5 National Parks of Northern Territory Visited

For the two times that I had a chance to visit Northern Territory in Australia, I got a chance to visit and experience some of its best national parks. I knew for myself that I haven’t seen all the national parks that Northern Territory has to offer but if I will have another chance to come back, I definitely plan to visit the other parks. But for now, I had visited five national parks and I described in the post my experiences as my reasons how I rate them. I truly recommend all of them to visit and other parks to be found at top end of Australia.

Top 1 – Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon)

My most favorite national park that I visited in Northen Territory is Watarrka National Park where Kings Canyon in Australia is located. The main reason why I like it the most is because it is a canyon. I really like canyon. And the best about this one was the chance to trek within the canyon where we took Canyon Rim Walk track. Following the track gave us the chance to reached Cotterrils Lookout, to cross Garden of Eden, to see Rock Domes, Kings Creek and Lost City where all of it can be found within Kings Canyon. I consider it wonders of our world.

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Top 2 – Uluru (Ayers Rock)Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) National Park

Uluru or Ayers Rock was the main reason I planned to join my first adventure in the outback of Australia. Uluru itself is the most popular symbol used for the outback of the country down under. And I had a chance to experience the walk for Lungkata Trail that goes around at the base of the sacred mountain rock for Anangu Aboriginal People. And we experienced rain which very seldom to happen at the Red Centre.

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Then, the next day was another fulfilling experience where the group trekked the “Valley of the Winds” trail within “The Olgas” or Kata-Tjuta where we reached two lookouts called Karu Lookout and Karingana Lookout that gives different views of “The Olgas”.

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Top 3 – Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

I love this national park because of the trekking we did following the Nawilbinbin Trail that goes up to the base escarpment walls where we found lots of aboriginal arts drawn in the rock shelters and cliff. We had a great scenery of the valley as well while ascending and descending the trail.

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Top 4 – Nitmiluk National Park

Nitmiluk National Park consist of stunning gorges. And some of the great waterfalls can be found here because of the rivers connected to other rivers that made wonderful falls within the park. We had a chance to swim in Edith Falls (Leliyn for Aboriginals) and witness the amazing Katherine Gorge through trekking to Baruwei Lookout.

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Top 5 – Litchfield National Park

This park offers a lot of things during my day tour and I knew for a fact that what I had seen are not the only things to see and there are still more but a day was not enough to see it all. But even it was just one day, I discovered two nature wonders that involve termites. First was about Cathedral Termite Mounds and second was Magnetic Termite Mounds. Then, the park also offers wonderful waterfalls that so great to swim even sometimes park rangers caught some crocs.

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5 Reasons You Want to Visit Litchfield National Park

Visiting National Park for me is always great. National Park always offers great scenery that reminds me that the world is indeed a beautiful one. Litchfield National Park is not exempted that offers beautiful scenery and offers discovery of our world’s natural wonders. Below are the reasons why nature lovers must visit Litchfield National Park.

1. Cathedral Termite (Nasutitermes Triodiae) Mounds

Everyone driving near or within Litchfield National Park will witness lots of termite mounds around the area. But two of gigantic termite mounts can be found here.

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2. Magnetic Termite or Compass Termite (Amitermes Meridionalis) Mounds

A cemetery look-alike termite mounds where the termites able to create a perfectly flat mound upward.

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3. Florence Falls (Karrimura)

It is said to be a spiritual place in a sense that it is exclusive  to individual no matter you are near or far from people.

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4. Tolmer Falls

A spectacular falls within Litchfield National Park. This is the falls with high distant, deep plunge pool.

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5. Wangi Falls

The most popular pool to visitors and the most accessible falls within the park.

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There are more to see within the park, the list above are the nature wonders that I saw during day tour. Spending 1 to 2 days within this park is recommended to appreciate what the park can offer to its visitors.

Litchfield National Park – Home of Fascinating Termite Mounds and Waterfalls

Since I already missed Kakadu National Park Day Tour that day, the tour company offered me to join the Litchfield National Park Day Tour wherein the pick-up time will be 7:20 AM. And because I don’t have much option since I cannot reimburse my payment for the tour that I booked, I have to at least replace it with other tour. My full story of why I missed Kakadu day tour was described in my previous post [see here].

I crossed the road and walked towards the waiting area. While waiting, I was still thinking the tour that I missed (the Kakadu National Park Day Tour), I wished if only I was dropped off at the right location by the cab I will never miss the said tour. While  I was waiting there was a man in his senior age sat not far from me and I thought that he maybe a tourist as well. Then he asked if I was waiting for the bus and I told him yes. That’s the beginning of our conversation. As far as I remembered he was at least 80 or more years old but he can still join such kind of tour. I didn’t ask his age because it was not appropriate to do so. I learned from him that he was on holiday with his wife but his wife never joined the tour because she already had it before. I told him my story of what happened to me at early morning, then he sympathized me on it and advised me to enjoy the tour that we will be having that day.

The tour bus arrived in the transit terminal before 7:20 AM and when I climbed on the bus, there were lots of tourist inside and I sat beside the window. The man who I talked while waiting for the bus came and he sat beside me. I asked his name but right now I can’t remember it anymore.

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When the time to leave Darwin Transit Centre, the bus still picked-up some of the tourist in few more hotels before we hit the road towards Litchfield National Park.

Strauss Airfield

Our first stop was along Stuart Highway in Noonamah where Strauss Airfield situated just beside the highway. The airfield was built in 1942 during World War II. During our visit, there are still few remnants that can be found but most of the things that we saw are just a reminders of the airfield and its story since it was decommissioned after the war in 1945.

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Batchelor Town

We passed a small town after we turned right from Stuart Highway to Batchelor Road. And while inside the bus, I was able to capture the Replica of Karlstejn Castle at Havlik Park. Havlik Park was named after Bernie Havlik whom made the huge rock into castle as solution since he was not able to remove and maintain the rocky outcrop, an amazing discovery. Batchelor town is considered as the gateway to Litchfield National Park.

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Banyan Tree Caravan Park

We had a brief stopped at Banyan Tree Caravan Park after passing the center of Batchelor Town for a quick breakfast or snack. And here, I had a glimpse of places within Litchfield National Park through its maps drawn in the store wall and while looking into it, I wondered which places we will be visiting in the tour.

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Cathedral Termite (Nasutitermes Triodiae) Mounds

From Batchelor Town, we took the Rum Jungle Road towards Litchfield National Park. Then we took Litchfield Park Road after. When we reached the Cathedral Termite Mounds, I felt surprised. I only know that termites destroys houses and they were like household enemies. I saw ads when I lived in Australia how huge problem when your house were attacked by termites. When we got off the bus and when we approached the Giant Cathedral Termite Mound, I never expected that termites will be able to build such structure like what we were seeing at that time. They call it Cathedral Termite Mound because of its resemblance to cathedral shapes.

There are at two gigantic cathedral termite mounds that we saw and both of them are taller than human. There is one surrounded by metal bench to protect it from humans as it is considered around 50 or more years old which is even older than myself. Not far from special cathedral termite mound, another one also stands though it shapes are somewhat similar to the first one we saw, the second mound was not surrounded by metal bench, it was a cathedral termite mound in a natural settings and surrounded with grass and trees. It said that Cathedral termites build their nests on well-drained soils.

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Magnetic Termite or Compass Termite (Amitermes Meridionalis) Mounds

We returned to our bus and we took the Litchfield Park Road again and we enjoyed the other cathedral termite mounds that we saw along the road  but smaller in sizes and honestly there are lots of them astray in the wilderness of the park. Then, we stopped again and I was wondering what we were looking at that time and our guide told us about the Magnetic Termite Mounds. At first, I thought we were looking at cemetery and then I realized that we were looking for another type of termite mounds which is Magnetic Termite Mounds. If I was already surprised after seeing Cathedral Termite Mounds, I was more amazed when I saw their mounds. Because all of the mounds are flat like cement from a distance and I was wondering how these termites able to create a perfectly flat mound upward.

Magnetic Termite said to commonly build their nest at seasonally flooded black soil plains. Their mounds are often widely scattered but when grouped it was like graveyard like pattern. One amazing fact that scientist learned when they observed how Magnetic Termite able to build a mound that is north-south aligned. At first they thought that it’s because of the sun, but after they did an experiment, they learned that these termites has their own built-in compass. When scientist artificially change the direction of  magnetic field, termites dutifully followed and built repairs to their mound in the alignment of these magnets and not to Earth’s magnetic field. A wonderful information to learn about these termites.

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Florence Falls (Karrimura)

The first falls that we visited was Florence Falls. Our group never had a chance to swim in this falls since its plunge pool were closed at that time, but we got a chance to have a scenic bush and monsoon vine forest walk towards the viewing platform. To enjoy the trip, I took my time to appreciate the nature that surrounds me and saved souvenirs through photography.

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Tolmer Falls

Next falls that we had a chance to see during the tour was Tolmer Falls, the viewing platform that we visited combines to see the gorge, the wilderness of the lowland from the top and the falls itself. Tolmer Falls is one of the falls which made after some part of Tabletop plateau has been eroded where some water stored with the plateau.

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At the viewing platform, aside from enjoying Tolmers Falls, panoramic scenery of the nearby wilderness can be seen at the lookout too. I felt fascinated after seeing how vast it is.

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Litchfield Cafe

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This was the place where we had our cold buffet lunch for that day and where I had a slice of their famous mango cheesecake as desert. After tasted that it was really good, I bought another one to fill me up.

Wangi Falls

At Wangi Falls was where our group stays longer because most of the visitor in the tour bus got their chance to swim in the falls. And for all the three falls that we saw within the tour, Wangi has the most numbers of visitors and most number of people who went for swimming. I never got a chance to swim in this falls as I saw that it was quite deep and all my stuff were still on my luggage which I never bothered to get my swimming stuff as I don’t want to reorganize my bag while I was in the tour.

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After the tour, we returned to Darwin around 6PM in the evening. And I was dropped near my hotel in The Cavenagh Hotel. I checked-in, retrieved Telstra sim card that I reserved, had dinner and rest for the night for the big days ahead of me for the 9 Days adventure in the wilderness of Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Until then.

Featuring Our World : Wangi Falls

Featuring Our World (Post#9) : Wangi Falls

One of the popular falls within Litchfield National Park because of its accessibility from the sealed road is Wangi Falls.  It is a segmented falls which visible of having separate water flows for its descends. Most of the time is it open year-round but always be mindful if swimming is allowed for the day because there are some crocodiles seen on its plunge pool specially during wet season or after heavy rain. These photos are part of Litchfield National Park Tour Photo Collection September 2016.

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View At My Window : Florence Falls

View At My Window (Post#32) : Florence Falls

First Falls that we found while touring around Litchfield National Park. One of the things that I enjoyed here was the walk or trek towards the viewing platform to see the Falls. At the time we visited the falls, the plunge pool was closed for swimming as there were constructions going on in the area at that time. These photos are part of Litchfield National Park Tour Photo Collection September 2016.

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Natural Wonders : Magnetic Termite Mounds

Natural Wonders (Post#5) : Magnetic Termite Mounds

If I was amazed in giant Cathedral Termite Mounds that I saw, I felt more wondrous after seeing the graveyard like Magnetic Termite Mounds. At first I thought that I was looking into a cemetery but it’s not. I learned that these termites thought to have built-in compass, which is the main reason they able to build a mound that is north-south aligned. These photos are part of Litchfield National Park Tour Photo Collection September 2016.

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Picture Frame : Tolmer Falls

Picture Frame (Post#7) : Tolmer Falls

Before I was able to see the Tolmer Falls, we were required to walk less than a kilometer distance to reach the viewing platform. It’s one of the amazing falls to enjoy within the Tabletop Range in Litchfield National Park. At the viewing deck, there will be added bonus as there is lowland country scenery to appreciate as well. These photos are part of Litchfield National Park Tour Photo Collection September 2016.

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Arts and Craft : Replica of Karlstejn Castle by Bernie Havlik

Arts and Craft (Post#17) : Replica of Karlstejn Castle by Bernie Havlik

Before we reached Litchfield National Park, we passed a small town called Batchelor and while we stopped here for few minutes, I had a chance to capture a photo of Karlstejn Castle replica. The replica was made out of a huge rock and turned into an art and made by Bernie Havlik. The photo is part of Litchfield National Park Tour Photo Collection September 2016.

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Restaurant : Litchfield Cafe

Restaurant (Post#3)  : Litchfield Cafe

I am only good in eating, but I haven’t really tried to write post that describes restaurants  and my experience on it. This will be the first one that will focus on this subject.

Litchfield Cafe is an eatery where people can eat through buffet style. When we reached the cafe, there are groups that’s already dined in two long tables. The other two long tables are vacant and seems reserved in our group. We looked for our seats and joined the groups in getting our food. The cafe was the place where we had our cold buffet lunch which includes different types of salads, sandwitches where you can choose your own fillings. As part of the lunch, we had a slice of their famous mango cheesecake as desert. After I tasted that the cheesecake was really good, I bought another slice to fill me in.

The photo is part of Litchfield National Park Tour Photo Collection September 2016.

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Natural Wonders : Giant Cathedral Termite Mounds

Natural Wonders (Post#4) : Giant Cathedral Termite Mounds

Visiting Litchfield National Park amazed me in some ways. This happened when I saw two of the gigantic Cathedral Termite Mounds. I never realized to see such tall termite mounds. And the look of the mounds that the termites built were similar to cathedrals that human beings built. I was surprised that such creation will stand through times with season changing on its natural ways. I saw two giant cathedral termite mounds, one is protected surrounded by metal bench and the other one still standing on its natural settings. These photos are part of Litchfield National Park Tour Photo Collection September 2016.

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