The largest and perhaps most well known attraction in Litchfield National Park is Wangi Falls. A segmented waterfall on the Wangi Creek, located near the western boundary of the park, renown for its accessibility and outstanding natural beauty.
This massive double waterfall gloriously cascades over the steep rock escarpment, descending from an elevation of 84 metres above sea level through a network of segmented tiers ranging between 41-52 metres high which drops into a huge, pristine plunge pool below. The waterhole here is much larger than the one at Florence Falls, around 100 metres wide and 100 metres long and is surrounded by lavishly thick monsoon rainforest.
How To Get To Wangi Falls Litchfield National Park
Wangi falls is super accessible, with only a short 100-metre walk from the car park to the main viewing area. To get here you can hire a car or you can join a Litchfield National Park tour There’s also a large timber platform and steps provided to the plunge pool for easy access. Near the entry to the falls you’ll find a large grassy picnic area with picnic tables and barbeques which is the perfect place to cook up a feed or sprawl out, read a book and unwind after a swim. If you don’t feel like packing a picnic lunch you could grab a bite to eat at the Wangi Falls Cafe and enjoy free Wi-Fi there too. There’s also a campground with hot showers and toilets nearby where you can freshen up afterwards.
The crystal clear water is perfect for a refreshing dip however the Falls are generally closed for swimming throughout the dry season aka the ‘tropical summer’ between May-October or during periods of significant rainfall. Currents in the pool can tend to become quite heavy and potentially dangerous and estuarine crocodiles have also been known to venture up this way during this time too, so it’s advised to take precautions seriously, check the signage for restrictions and make sure to stay up to date with information and sightings on the Northern Territory government site. The kiosk and the picnic facilities remain open during this season and the park rangers frequently monitor the area and conduct surveys to ensure the waters are crocodile free before re-opening the facilities for swimming.
There’s so much to learn at Wangi Falls
Wangi falls has been through several name changes throughout the years. The first European naming of the falls was recorded by David Lindsay in 1883 after his youngest daughter ‘Gwendoline’. It later changed to ‘Kathleen Falls’ in1954 by Max Sargent however it was rightfully returned to its local aborginal name ‘Wangi Falls’ in 1961 when the Townsend family took over the pastoral lease and an outstation also named ‘Wangi’ was built approximately 4km west from the falls.
There is a selection of various walking tracks to enjoy at Wangi Falls, including a short 400 metre return stroll to the viewing platform, crossing over the Wangi Creek footbridge to the edge of the pool. There is also a longer 1.6km loop trail starting from the plunge pool which takes you up the mountain over a series of steps to a plateau on top of the falls where you can experience sensational treetop views over the woodlands to the west. Follow the hiking track over the creek as it winds all the way down through the rainforest and returns you back to the pool below and keep your eyes peeled for the flying foxes (fruit bats) who seasonally roost in these trees throughout the year.
If you visit Darwin put Wangi Falls on your itinerary
For the more advanced hikers, Wangi Falls Walk also has a 18.5-kilometre trek which leads you all the way through Litchfield National Park from Wangi Falls to Walker Creek. The trail is part of the Tabletop Track and generally takes about 2 days to complete but offers a spectacular opportunity to take in the landscape’s dramatic escarpments, open woodlands and abundant native wildlife including northern quolls, wallabies, frogs, lizards and hundreds of different native bird species.