The Top End is a truly beautiful part of Australia. Lush wet season forests, stunning waterfalls and incredible national parks all combine to make a part of Australia that is like no other. However, living in the tropics can have downsides. During the wet season, high heat and extreme humidity combine to make the Top End an often uncomfortable place to live. With such weather, all you want to do is jump into the ocean to cool down, but unfortunately, that is not a good option.
I have mentioned it before and I will mention it again. The Top End is croc country, and these big salties like to lurk in the oceans here, meaning that going for a quick ocean dip will always come with risks. So, with these wet season weather conditions being rather trying and the beaches not being a good place to cool down, what options is one left with?
Luckily, here in the Territory, we have a fair few natural waterholes that we can safely swim in without fearing becoming dinner for a predatory reptile! Many of these waterholes lie within Litchfield National Park and are incredibly popular among both locals and tourists alike. However, sometimes it is nice to skip the crowds and get away to places that only the locals know about.
Enter Robin Falls.
My besties (above) Tess and Ethan had flown up from Adelaide to visit me in my new home base and cooling off in some stunning Northern Territory waterfalls sounded pretty much perfect.
So how does one get to this hidden away little paradise?
Most people heading for a watering hole adventure follow Stuart Highway from Darwin, turn off at Batchelor and head straight for Litchfield National Park. However, to get to these particular falls, you ignore the turnoff, keep going along Stuart Highway for another 25 or so kilometres, take the Dorat Road turnoff and follow the signs.
Once you park your car, there is an unmarked trail (just follow the river upstream) to the falls. It takes about 20 minutes to walk and requires a little bit of scrambling across rocks and boulders. I am an uncoordinated human and had to take my time to ensure I didn’t break an ankle! However, my more sure-footed friends could have run the track in about 10 minutes flat.
Robin Falls will certainly never be named one of the prettiest waterfalls in the Territory, but it’s secluded, the water is cool and best of all – no croc watch required!
As I mentioned above, visiting the Top End during the wet season brings humidity, heat and potential for torrential downpour at any second, but it also means that all the waterfalls and all the natural pools are full of water, flowing fast and free – which makes them that much more impressive. It is at this time of the year that professional photographers flock to the area to get the most beautiful photographs possible.
I have loved my decision to move to the Territory (and the past almost nine months that I have been here has flown by) but one of the downsides is that I miss my friends pretty terribly. Having them come up to visit was pretty fantastic. It also ended up being the last time I saw Tessa before she moved to London – so I cherished the visit that much more.
Eventually we grew a little bored of just staying in the one spot, so we decided to head back down Stuart Highway and towards Litchfield to see what other places we could find to have a little swim in. Stay tuned!
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting to Darwin: International flights arrive from Bali, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur
Getting to Robin Falls: From Darwin, follow Stuart Highway until the Dorat Road turnoff and follow the signs
Camera: Nikon Coolpix S31 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 with M.Zuiko 12-40mm pro lens
Seasons: Robin Falls can be accessed year round but it’s advisable to skip it during or immediately after monsoonal rains
Remember: Sunscreen, beer and mosquito repellent!
Don’t forget to add me on Snapchat and Instagram – @wwellend – for more foolishness and travel adventures!