23/07/2015 From where we were camped at Berry Springs, we took the back way via Litchfield Park Road for a day trip to Litchfield National Park. The road was very corrugated gravel for most of the way to the national park boundary grid, where it changed to good two-lane bitumen throughout the entire park apart from 4WD side tracks to the various places of interest.
Just inside the park, we spotted a few large Magnetic Termite Mounds just off into the bush and pulled in to have a look. They are “magnetic” as they are aligned north to south to minimise the exposure to the sun. It’s amazing how these little fellas know which way is which. Probably from sunbaking on the Lido Level…
Next stop was the Bamboo Creek Tin Mine, with remnants of a small labour intensive mining operation that extracted and processed tin from the 1940s until it was abandoned in 1955. What remains are the old mine (now home to bats and other nocturnal creatures), ruins of domestic buildings and a mill with its rusty relics of equipment. It would have been hard yakka for those guys in the heat and wet of the far north.
From there, we went to the Lower Cascades for some bird watching in the remnant tropical rainforest beside the scenic creek. Di “shot” a couple of new birds.
By this time, we were both feeling very hot and weary and really enjoyed our next stop, Wangi Falls, where we had lunch and a cool refreshing swim. Wangi Falls is probably the best-known and most popular attraction in Litchfield National Park. The two falls cascade over the rock escarpment into a large plunge pool below, surrounded by tropical rainforest. The rock escarpment above the waterhole was absolutely massive. In the pictures below you can see how tiny people are sitting on the rocks below the falls. This was such a great place. While the rest of the park was hot and dry, the surrounds of the waterhole were cool and shady. Di had some nice sandwiches from the adjacent cafe while I went for a rather ordinary steak burger made by a group of French backpackers working in the kitchen. They’ve obviously grown up on McDonalds and had microwaved the entire burger, bread and all, to heat it. Note to self: Never buy a steak burger from a French backpacker.
Refreshed from the swim, we went on to the Tolmer Falls Lookout and then took a rocky and rough single lane 4WD track to The Lost City, an amazing group of rock formations that are remnants of the softer sandstone cap of the table top range that has eroded away. An amazing place. It looked very much like the ruins of an ancient stone city, with doorways, arches and windows.
It was a full day of driving and walking, and we headed back to Berry Springs, two very tired Little Black Ducks looking forward to a glass of wine beside the lily pond back at camp.
“Kilometres are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometres.” – George Carlin