Litchfield National Park, NT
Litchfield National Park, with its lush woodlands, spectacular waterfalls, sparkling plunge pools and tall termite mounds is an increasingly popular trip from Darwin. In Northern Territory terms it's just a short two-hour drive away. What's more all the main natural attractions - including Buley Rockhole and the dramatic Florence, Tolmer and Wangi falls - are easily accessible from Litchfield's main road. Check out the cleverly-constructed termite mounds, swim in pandanus-lined pools and take scenic walks on a day trip. Or stay, camp and hike or 4WD to the more remote reaches of the park.
The main route to Litchfield National Park is on the sealed Stuart Highway, via the tiny gateway township of Batchelor. You can also bump along the part gravel road past Berry Springs Nature Reserve, though it's sometimes cut off during the wet season, from November to April. If you'd rather focus on scenery than steering, join one of the many all-inclusive tours from Darwin.
Just a few kilometers after the park's entrance you'll see the surreal, tombstone-like field of giant termite mounds. Million-strong armies of tiny termites have built these on a north-south axis to protect the interiors from intense sun. Marvel at their intelligently designed buildings - many of which are more than 2m tall - from the nearby boardwalk.