Indigenous Litchfield Tour
You’ve come a long way to Darwin. You want the real story. Bring the country to life on an Aboriginal-guided Indigenous Litchfield Spectacular day tour. Take the roads less travelled from Darwin to the world class natural beauty and cultural symbolism of Litchfield National Park. Share unforgettable experiences with a tiny group of like-minded visitors—a taste of adventure in safety and comfort.
Litchfield Tour Highlights
- One of our personable Aboriginal guides will give you the real story of the area, with fun and laughter.
- We’ll pick you up from your accommodation in a safe, comfortable, air-conditioned tour vehicle.
- You’ll discover magnificent scenery, fascinating pioneer heritage and a rich Aboriginal tradition.
- We’ll show you spiritually important waterfalls and stone country, ancient rainforest and unspoilt woodland, and their places in Aboriginal culture.
- In the dry season you’ll be exclusive visitors to our private land at beautiful Woolaning Spring.
- We’ll present beautifully prepared and freshly cooked wild-caught barramundi, crocodile and kangaroo for lunch.
- You’ll be refreshed swimming in clear, natural pools—out of the reach of crocodiles.
- You’ll take away a deeper understanding of Aboriginal life, its relationship to country and its place in modern society.
- You’ll be enriched by this unforgettable experience.
Litchfield Tour Itinerary
Pick up and return
We’ll pick you up for your Litchfield tour in a comfortable, air-conditioned tour vehicle from your Darwin accommodation between 7:15 and 7:30 am (a bit later for suburban and outlying accommodation). We’ll return you to Darwin about 4:30 pm.
Finniss River Crossing
Back roads from Darwin take us to the Finniss River and beyond, into Tess’s family’s country. We’ll stretch our legs at this shady riverside stop and discover the resources available from this riverine environment.
* During our tropical summer, from about December to May, road authorities often close the back road into Litchfield due to flooding at this crossing. When this occurs we will enter and leave Litchfield by the main road through the pretty town of Batchelor.
At various places we’ll demonstrate seasonal bush resources used by local Aboriginal people for thousands of years, and describe the relationship of Litchfield’s landscape features to local indigenous culture.
You’ll learn about the many termites, primary herbivores of the Northern Territory, and the huge housing complexes they build. You’ll be amazed at how indigenous people use these industrious creatures and their homes.
Bamboo Creek Tin Mine
We know the Bamboo Creek* area as Marchinbar, an important place for our people. You’ll find out why and learn about the pioneering efforts of our ancestors at the old tin mine here.
* During our tropical summer, from about December to May, road authorities close the road into Bamboo Creek Tin Mine due to flooding. When this occurs we will instead visit Tolmer Falls, which is spectacular at this time of year.
During our tropical summer we’ll take a short walk through Litchfield’s stone country to Tolmer Falls. The stone country comes alive at this time of year with a profusion of life and a gushing of water into Tolmer’s deep chasms.
* During the dry season the stone country around Tolmer Falls is very dry and hot. At this time of year we’ll instead visit the heritage-listed Bamboo Creek Tine Mine.
You’ll be exclusive visitors to Tess’s family’s private land at beautiful Woolaning Spring*. We’ll enjoy a morning tea stop here in our little patch of rainforest by a crystal clear stream. You can take a therapeutic dip in the warm spring waters or explore the remains of Tess’s family’s sawmill camp.
* During our tropical summer, from about December to May, the track into Woolaning Spring is often too boggy to use. When this occurs we will have morning tea at a more accessible spot.
We’ll present a freshly cooked lunch of wildcaught barramundi, crocodile and kangaroo, in beautiful surroundings.
You’ll visit iconic Wangi Falls, its plunge pool a popular dry season swimming spot and a special place for indigenous women. Cool off with a swim* or explore the nearby lush rainforest, home to a variety of birds and restless fruit bats. For the keen there may be an opportunity for a more strenuous walk around and over the falls.
* When water levels rise to a pre-determined point during our tropical summer, from about December to May, park authorities close the Wangi Falls plunge pool to swimming due to strong currents and the potential for saltwater crocodiles to enter the plunge pool. Viewing the falls, however, and doing the walk around and over them, is safe and especially spectacular at this time of year.
You’ll see stunning Florence Falls from the plateau-top lookout, a short walk from the car park. Keen swimmers can tackle the 135 stairs that lead down to the clear, refreshing waters of Florence’s stone-walled gorge and plunge pool. Easier walks allow swimming too, in the warmer waters above Florence Falls.
Back to Darwin
We’ll settle into the comfort of our air-conditioned vehicle to return to your hotel in time to catch the sunset over Darwin Harbour, markets and nightlife.
* For a really special way to cap off the day, package up and learn about the different traditions of saltwater Aboriginal people, the Larrakia, on a Sunset Dreaming cruise run by Sea Darwin on Darwin Harbour.
|Departs||Tours operate daily with a maximum of 12 guests.|
|Start Time||7.30 am|
|Duration||9 hours (approx.)|
|Pick Up / Departure|| |
|Drop Off / Return||
Tour and Pricing Options
|Child Price||$124 for children up to 12 years old|
- Transport by comfortable, air-conditioned tour vehicle
- Hotel pickup and drop off
- Local Aboriginal guide
- Lunch of freshly cooked wildcaught barramundi, crocodile and kangaroo
- Cool water, complimentary water bottles, bags and fact sheets.
- Personal items
- We reserve the right to sell tours from time to time at special prices lower than the advertised retail rate. If we do offer such special prices, we will also offer equivalent net rates to trade agents and pay appropriate commissions.
- We endeavour to meet, but cannot guarantee, exact pick-up and drop-off times, and cannot guarantee that Tess Atie will be available to lead any particular tour.
- We take all due care but accept no responsibility for injury, illness, loss or damage to any person or property sustained while on a tour.
- We reserve the right to amend tour times and itineraries, without refund, due to road or area closures, emergency incidents, extreme weather events or other circumstances beyond our control, to maximise the safety of our guests.
- If the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issues a tropical cyclone warning for the tour area (meaning destructive winds are occurring in the area or expected within 24 hours), we will cancel tours scheduled for the warning period and will waive or refund the tour price.
- We reserve the right to cancel a tour that has only one person booked. If this happens, or if an exceptional circumstance beyond our control forces us to cancel a tour before departure, we will waive or refund the tour price.
- If you cancel a confirmed tour more than one week before departure, we will refund 70% of the tour price to you (bearing in mind there will be commissions and administrative costs we must pay). If you cancel a confirmed tour less than one week before departure, we cannot refund any part of the tour price.
- Confirmation will be received soon after booking. Please call us 24 hours before departure to reconfirm. Please bring a hat, footwear for short walks on formed tracks in hot weather, and a swimming costume and towel (optional).