Published: July 12th 2012July 11th 2012
Litchfield National Park -
I’ll say it again… the boys are fantastic travelling such long distances in the car. One of the best games we’ve enjoyed is called Ruler of the Front Seat. We started this game from Day One and it’s still going. Each day one of the boys is the Ruler of the Front Seat. While they don’t physically get to sit in the front seat, the idea is that they get to make any family decisions for that day. Essentially, they are in the driver’s seat and have the control. When do we stop for morning tea? Where will we have lunch? What activity will we do today? We can all make suggestions but the deciding vote rests with the Ruler of the Front Seat. Of course, there has to be a little guidance from Mum and Dad or we could find ourselves on a diet of Magnum icecreams and playing on the Caravan Park’s jumping pillow all day. Mum and Dad reserve the right to veto any choice that is unreasonable and on occasion we have had to explain that being Ruler of the Front Seat does not mean you get to boss your brothers and
tell people what to do. But the kids understand and seem to thrive on that bit of independence and leadership. (such that the very threat of losing R-of-the-FS privileges is enough to get them to eat their vegetables!)
Of course "I Spy" is still a favourite with the difficulty level stepped up as we now have to guess 2 words together not just one. Ryan had us all stumped for ages with “something starting with C and P”. Eventually we all gave up and Ryan gleefully said “Haha! It’s a Camper Trailer! While Matthew and Daniel wailed indignation, Maarten and I were in hysterics, Ryan was just happy he thought up something no one could guess.
Were on our way now to Litchfield but heading out of Katherine we passed a road block the police had set up to catch a killer on the loose in the NT bush. Maarten was horrified when I pulled out my camera to take pictures of the cops with their high powered rifles at the ready. Meh…
The campsite we wanted to stay at was full so we continued on to the next, Litchfield Safari Camp. The Reception comprised a folding
table with a folding chair next to a rusted out fridge and covered by a tarpaulin held up by some rickety looking poles. An equally rickety looking gentleman was lounging in his folding chair perhaps admiring his substantial beer gut quite clearly on display beneath his blue tank top. As we drove up beside him, he didn’t look up, not until I was standing at his ‘desk’ and even then he only just looked up. That was all. No smile…no greeting…no ‘Can I help you?’ Very strange. But he did have room, it was a powered site and had toilets and showers to boot. Although it looked run down, it worked out just fine and the neighbouring campers were all quite friendly as we gathered around our communal fire each night.
We decided to visit Wangi Falls first as this was the closest waterfall to us. I was expecting something like Edith Falls, a smallish waterfall in the distance and large deep freezing cold water. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
We could hear the waterfall as soon as we got out the car. It was quite loud and just the sound of it gave
me a thrill. The waterfall itself wasn’t visible, we had to walk down a path to get there.
As the waterfalls came in to view it was breathtaking! There were 2 falls; one to the left was smaller but visible all the way to the top. It splashed down over sun drenched rocks that many tourists were already lounging or climbing on.
The second fall, off to the right was bigger and gushed out from behind a large rocky outcrop. The water was cold but not freezing and absolutely crystal clear. I cannot hope to describe the feeling of swimming so close to a natural waterfall – it was exhilarating. One of the most exciting things I’ve ever done and one I will never forget.
As I swam around to the bigger waterfall and tried to get close to it, it quite literally took my breath away. Not necessarily a good thing when you’re treading water a long way from land. The excitement, the thrill and the sheer force of the wind and water falling down the cliff face – it was amazing. Try as I might I actually couldn’t swim right up to the waterfall –
the force of it all and the strong current kept pushing me back.
I left Wangi Falls with a huge smile on my face; so glad we made it this far. So lucky that I could share this experience with my family.
We visited several other swimming holes and falls in Litchfield each more impressive than the last and each time headed back to our campsite exhausted and happy and ready to toast some marshmallows!
There are more photos below