The Cascades is a wide rock lava flow of around 200 metres in length, over which a local stream trickles.
The largest fall is at the downstream end of the Cascades, with a drop of about 3-4 metres. Most of the cascades
have a drop of around half a metre to one metre.
Above: The Cascades
(Order this image)
Reaching the Cascades is more difficult than many other waterfalls in Litchfield National Park,
which means that it is less crowded than its more famous neighbours.
The first 20 minutes of the walk from the car park is across flat, open ground with little shade.
The heat across this section can be sapping, so wear a hat and bring some water. At the junction, I took
the track to the lower cascades, which is the more popular route.
As you near the Cascades, the track
narrows, becomes undulating and the rock underneath is orientated at awkward angles that stress your ankles.
The best advice I can offer about the Cascades is to wear sturdy footwear. There are also two daring river
crossings over felled logs to test your balance. The Cascades are not well signposted on the walking track
but you’ll recognize them when you arrive.
Once you get there you can frolic along the length and breadth of the Cascades. It is difficult to
photograph the length of the Cascades, because there are no well elevated viewpoints, but there are plenty of
unique and interesting pools that you can study close up. There are no facilities at the Cascades,
so make sure you have made your toilet stop at the car park and are carrying plenty of water and snacks
before you leave your car.
Your Seasonal Guide:
|Visit in the dry season (approx. May-Oct). Unclear whether this creek dries up late
in the dry season, so best to visit early in the dry season until someone tells me otherwise.
||Visit in the morning. The scorching heat across the exposed plain on the way to the Cascades
can be exhausting in the middle of the day and afternoon.|
Other Information Before You Go:
Litchfield National Park, 140 km (approx. 2 hour 20 minute drive) south-west of the Darwin city centre
From Darwin take the Stuart Hwy southwards and turn off at the signs to
Litchfield National Park (via Batchelor). The turnoff to the Cascades is well signposted. From
the car park it is about a 20-30 minute walk to The Cascades.
Unnamed tributary of the Reynolds River
Swimming available at the falls: Yes
Toilets, picnic tables (at the car park only)
Shade is limited, both at the Cascades and on the walking track to get there.
No swimming during the wet season due to crocodiles
There is a campground at Wangi Falls, 6km to the south.
An online booking system for campgrounds in the park is due to be implemented in late 2021. Prior
to that, it is first come first served. The park is within reach of Darwin for a day trip, or for a more relaxed or extended stay,
you can try the following options, just outside the national park boundary. I have stayed in a cabin
at Litchfield Tourist Park (as a paying guest) in Batchelor and found it quite comfortable and provided
easy access to the national park if you have a car. In the nearby accommodation options below,
all distances are by road, not as the crow flies.
NT Parks and Wildlife Service
Nearby attractions: Wangi Falls
is around the corner
Before you head out, make sure to read the
waterfall safety information
and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions.
Specific to Litchfield National Park, the managing authority warns of the presence of scrub typhus, which is caused by bites from a mite.
Precautions include wearing enclosed footwear, long trousers, insect repellent, camping away from dense forests, and using a
ground sheet when sitting or laying on the ground.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the car park at the start of the walk to the falls. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can occur with some browsers, simply refresh this web page.
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© Brad Neal 2021. All rights reserved.