Lost City and Litchfield National Park

We drove into Litchfield National Park intending to visit the waterfalls, but it was a Saturday and there was no room. All the pools were full of people floating around on pool noodles, and swimming was impossible.

We did manage to squeeze into the Buley Rockhole which has pools on several levels. We walked to the top level and had a quick cool down. No opportunity to swim, but it was refreshing.

We decided to find a less popular activity and drove past a sign to the Lost City. Intriguing.

It turned out that the Lost City is a large formation of rocks that look like a tumbledown city.

These rock formations are created by the elements, this sign explains it much better than I could.

We wandered around, really enjoying the different rocks. I’m looking like I had an unfortunate accident, but I’m still wet from our dip!

This was a small rock formation, Mark included for scale.

These “structures” really do look like they’ve been placed here. A semicircle of rocks.

There was a gate across the path, I’m assuming to stop people driving in.

We went back to Litchfield mid week and it was so much better. Florence Falls is lovely and I was able to get a decent swim to sit under the waterfall.

We did some lovely walks through tropical rainforests, complete with masses of butterflies. Litchfield is much more refined that Kakadu, the walks are usually on some sort of boardwalk and stairs are provided, rather than all that rock scrambling and climbing that we had to do in Kakadu.

We followed a sign to the Blyth Homestead. Hmm . Not quite what I was expecting…

It’s really a small tin humpy ( small, temporary shelter, traditionally used by Australian Aboriginal people), which is an outpost of the main homestead at Stapleton Station. It was used by the children of the owners of Stapleton Station as a base to mine tin from Mt Tolmer (which we visited), and to look after cattle. This is in the middle of nowhere, and these kids were only occasionally visited by their father. Pretty amazing.

Once again I’m using Mark as scale to show how low this building is. There were a couple of bed frames, fashioned from saplings and some rather lovely tools used for the mining. That was pretty much it.

This is the Tolmer Falls which I assume is close to the main homestead.

We had a dip at Wangi Falls too – that’s me on the left in the middle.

Litchfield National Park is quite close to Darwin, so is more developed and much busier, but it’s still a great place to visit.

We were really intrigued with the magnetic termite mounds. These are everywhere, and some are set up for tourists, but nowhere does it explain why they are magnetic. We were assuming that they were made of some sort of magnetic material. We asked some locals and they didn’t know either…

So I googled it! This came from the Northern Territory site:

Up to 100 years old, these structures are unique to the northern parts of Australia, including Litchfield National Park. Stroll through the area and marvel at these enormous magnetic compasses, with their thin edges pointing north-south and broad backs facing east-west. This aspect thermo-regulates the mounds for the magnetic termites inside, who prefer high humidity and stable temperatures.” (https://northernterritory.com/darwin-and-surrounds/see-and-do/magnetic-termite-mounds) So now we all know!


8 thoughts on “Lost City and Litchfield National Park

  1. Fascinating! I could spend an entire vacation looking at rocks, but those falls! Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing 🥰

  2. The child sized humpy is amazing. The children must have been very brave to tough it out sans parental units. Yikes! (Times do change!) I love your travelogues… Makes my feet itch!
    Now I think I’ll go for my walk in 40* F (5* C) weather. Ugh… Your warm weather sounds so much nicer… Enjoy!

    1. Thank you. It was so warm there, but we are back in Perth now to the wettest October in 50 years! The humpy was pretty amazing, not a single home comfort, those kids were really tough!

  3. It looks like you’re having a wonderful holiday. The landscape is so varied, and the waterfalls and pools look blissful. Thanks for letting us tag along. Trish S

  4. Amazing sights and the falls, rocks and that minute humpy, and I do believe they raised the kids to be tough but that seems a bit rough. Love the Magnetic Termite Mounds and thank you for the information.

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