Thursday 28 May 2015

Batchelor and Litchfield National Park

We left Darwin and still weren’t sure if we were turning left or right off the Stuart Hwy into either Kakadu or into Litchfield national park. We chose the latter for the following reasons.

After replacing a battery and a few other bits in the camper plus an overpriced caravan park in Darwin we were over budget and needed to curve our spending for the next few days by choosing cheap camping and less kilometres.

Kakadu is 200 odd km off the hwy. Litchfield was only about 70km.

Kakadu costs $25 per person just to enter the park, and then camping fees were $30 for an unpowered site. Litchfield was free to enter and camping was $15 per night for an unpowered site.

Plus, Kakadu roads were dirt and some were not yet open while Litchfiled was Bitumen all the way and are open all year round.

The walks in Kakadu are moderate to hard, which means some of them would be too hard for the children. Most of the sights in Litchfield have boardwalks and paths and are easy to moderate walks meaning the kids could complete.

Our first stop off the highway was in Bachelor. A small town still living on the ‘most tidiest town’ award from 1999. I have to say it was tidy and green and quite inviting for the traveller with bins and toilets and a few attractions such as the quirky butterfly house.

Matilda spotted the sign and screeched from the backseat ‘Muuuuum stop the car it’s a butterfly house please can we go’ followed by echoes from the other two ‘please mum can we go’. I was driving and looked across at Craig who nodded his head and said ‘why not’.

So in we went. The owner showed us through to the butterfly house, then let us have a hold of a butterfly fresh out of a cocoon. The kids loved it.

We then stopped at a grassy green park and got out the webber and cooked some sausages for lunch. I am noticing how much more relaxed Craig is getting. Normally he is all stressed and wants to ‘get going’ because he is used to our rushed week here and there. So when I suggested stopping to cook lunch he was like no worries and got out the bbq and cooked us up lunch without a worry.

BBQ lunch set up 

From Batchelor we headed into the park and went to Wangi Falls, on a recommendation from some friends we met. It was our third WOW moment of our trip.

Wangi Falls, Litchfield National Park Northern Territory 

A very tired Abigail and I after swimming all day long

We camped here for two nights with flushing toilets, showers and tidy campsites. If you are thinking of coming here let me warn you. There are MILLIONS of mosquitos. I have known Craig for 15 years and he has never been bitten. So I was surprised to see him itching madly on the first night. Bug spray helped a little but we still look like we have chicken pox from the bites. Also, there is the risk of salt water crocs. The risk is minimal because the parks are regularly checked by rangers, but I still make Craig get in before myself or the kids!!!!!

Also, there are no bins in the park. So all rubbish must be taken out with you. And there is no drinking water so take plenty in. We got cut short with our water supply. Because it is so hot we went through our 15 litres in a day and we ended up buying another off a backpacker for $20 when you normally pay about $8 in woolies. I felt bad because Craig saw them when they drove in with heaps of water so he approached them and offered them a $20 note for some water. But they were more than happy to make a quid and were only staying one night so would pick up more in bachelor the next day.

Swimming at Wangi Falls. All three of the girls swam with us over to the waterfall!!

I am glad we chose to turn right as Litchfield was amazing. Plus Kakadu will be easier to visit on a trip later on when the kids are older.

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