Termite mounds. I could think of more exciting things. Yet when you’re travelling, termite mounds can suddenly be a highlight of your trip. In The Netherlands we don’t have termite mounds, or anything remotely similar. To me termite mounds are associated with vast spaces and rough nature. I was delighted to see the dozens of termite mounds in Australia and going to the Litchfield national park made it even better!
I saw a mound called the cathedral. It’s about 5 meters high and built with a mixture of sand, termite spit and termite poo. This results in a rockhard mix which creates their homes. A short walk away was a big field with tall, bright green grass. Hidden amongst the grass were huge magnetic termite mounds. Even in termite mounds you have bigger and better and the magnetic ones are in that category because most of the mounds in the Northern Territory are of the non-magnetic kind.
The magnetic mounds are a piece of clever engineering since they use the shade and thus get a minimal amount of sun. Where people in Coober Pedy go underground, the termites align their houses with the earth’s magnetic field to keep the temperature down. Although I’m sure it’s quite an impressive structure, it’s just cool to see all these mounds facing the same way like you’ve just entered a cemetery.
Another cool feature of the Litchfield national park is its waterfalls. After seeing the beautiful Florence falls from above, we descended to the water via 160 steps. It was super refreshing, especially after the sweaty walk in the high humidity. After a swim, we walked back to the car park via a tropical path. Since Litchfield is filled with awesome swimming holes, we also explored the Buley rockhole. It was a true paradise, with little waterfalls, rock jumps, different ‘baths’ and ‘massage streams’. The best thing was that it was super close to the car park.
Litchfield has got many more swimming holes and walking tracks to explore. If you have a 4WD you can even get to the lost city. The national park can be accessed from Batchelor and has plenty of camping grounds. Swimming holes might be closed when there is heavy rain.