I don't come down here nearly often enough.

Litchfield National Park is about 100km south of the city, just past the small township of Batchelor. I've been coming here for about as long as I've had a car (and once even came close to a nasty accident during the freewheeling days of my youth when I decided my tiny tinny car and lack of driving experience could totally handle a bit of off-road adventuring). It's a prime spot for a little weekend getaway or daytrip.

The three main swimming spots are Buley rockhole, Florence Falls and Wangi Falls. Buley is easy but can quickly get crowded. Florence is to my mind the most beautiful but doesn't have much space to linger by the water, and the steep stair climb on the way out generally leaves people feeling hotter and more in need of a swim than when they first arrived. Wangi is spacious and well serviced with a cafe and bbq facilities.

At this time of year, the cool dew of dusk mixes with the bushfire smoke. The orange and pink of the twilight sky are mirrored in the flowering tree grevilleas and turkey bush. Ancient cycads are beginning to drop their tough spiky leaves in anticipation of a new head of soft curls. Some have been blackened by a passing fire, their thick bark hides protecting them from the worst of the damage. Fire is both destructor and creator in the northern savannas; the early dry season burns cleans up old vegetation and injects a burst of ashy nutrients into the soil.

My most recent visit was the first time I stayed in one of the serviced campgrounds that can be found along the road into the park. The room in the converted demountable was convenient, if somewhat small and exceptionally overpriced (as are pretty much all Top End tourist accommodations at this time of the year). Still, it remains - as ever -  a good spot for a refresh, the water is always gorgeous and the plant and bird life is stunning. It's been a while since I've done a solo visit though, invariably it ends up being a trip with friends or visitors, so I think my next visit will be a lone wolf wander for a change.

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