Revisiting Our Favourite Place

Round Australia Road Trip #3

When we lived in Darwin thirty years ago, our favourite get-away spot was Florence Falls. It was remote and difficult to get to, which only added to its attraction. Every few months a group of us, ten or twelve friends, would pack up our four wheel drives and head south for a few days of back to nature camping.

There was no road to Florence Falls. To get there, we travelled south on the Stuart Highway…

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and turned left at the tiny town of Batchelor.

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After a few kilometres we left the dirt road and went cross country. We passed by the magnetic termite mounds, all perfectly lined up facing due north and south, keeping the nests at a constant, optimum temperature…

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until, after more than four hours, we came to the creek.

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We followed the creek to a broad, sandy area shaded by tall trees. Here we pitched our tents and stowed our drinks in the chilled water of the creek so they’d be ready to have with our barbecued steak for dinner. Then we would laze the day away, floating on airbeds in the swimming pool at the bottom of the falls. It was the perfect camping location and we always had this beautiful place to ourselves.

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Today, Florence Falls is part of Litchfield National Park and there’s a sealed road all the way; it takes just over an hour to get to Florence Falls from Darwin. There’s a choice of two paved walking tracks down to the pool at the base of the falls. The trees have grown and the forest has taken over our camping site. Many people come every day to visit these beautiful falls and swim in the deep pool.

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They love it as much as we did, but it’s a little crowded now.

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