The top end of the Northern Territory is renowned for its spectacular National Parks and here are Hema’s Top 5.
JUDBARRA NATIONAL PARK
(Image: 4WDriving through Judbarra National Park/ Gregory National Park)
Judbarra National Park (formerly Gregory National Park) is a dream destination for those who love isolated 4WD adventure. Several tracks run through the park, ranging from easy 2WD access to tyre piercing, suspension sapping, low range 4WD challenges. The remote National Park covers over 13,000 square kilometres and is the NT’s second-largest National Park. A satellite phone or PLB is recommended and you’ll need to be self-reliant.
A great test for your 4WD is the Bullita Stock Route, a one-way loop track once used by packhorses and donkey teams bringing supplies to the isolated cattle stations and also as a stock route to Wyndham used by Bullita and Humbert River Stations. The 4WD tracks close due to seasonal flooding from late November to May.
The main campground in the western section is near the historic Bullita Homestead and there are bush campsites located at Limestone Gorge and along all of the 4WD tracks.
KEEP RIVER NATIONAL PARK
(Image: Looking out at the diverse landscapes of Keep River National Park)
Keep River is one of the NT’s best-kept secrets, with its striking sandstone formations, like those found at Purnululu, diverse landscapes and Indigenous rock art. The brilliant sandstone “honeycomb” domes eroded over time by the winds and rains are 300 million years old and are from the same ancient seabed as the Bungle Bungles.
Tall Livistona palms are found clustered at the base of the escarpments or clinging precariously in the high up cracks and crevices. Spectacular views across the Keep River floodplain and the Jarnem escarpment are a highlight, with Dreamtime stories written in the landscape.
Camping is available at Jarnem and Gurrandalng with walking trails leading from both.
LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK
(Image: Swimming underneath the waterfalls in the crystal clear waters of Litchfield National Park)
Home to stunning waterfalls, crystal clear pools, safe swimming holes and magnetic termite mounds, Litchfield National Park is a popular destination, even for locals. Buley Rockhole, the Cascades and Florence and Wangi Falls offer fabulous swimming opportunities while Tolmer Falls cascade 35m into a deep plunge pool below.
The weathered sandstone pillars of the Lost City are accessible in a high clearance 4WD and are a must-see while you’re there. Another more challenging test is the 4WD only Reynolds River track, that leads to the Blythe Homestead ruins Tjaynera and Surprise Creek Falls before linking up with the Daly River Road.
Camping is available at Wangi and Florence Falls or the more remote Tyanera and Surprise Creek Falls.
KAKADU NATIONAL PARK
(Image: Kakadu National Park is an ancient living cultural landscape)
Kakadu is a World Heritage Listed living cultural landscape and the largest National Park in the NT at almost 20,000km², Aboriginal people have lived here for over 65,000 years. The Park is full of ancient rock art with the paintings offering an insight into Aboriginal life over thousands of years.
There is plenty on offer for the four-wheel driver too, with a 60km drive out to the iconic Jim Jim and Twin Falls, the Old Jim Jim Road that cuts between the Arnhem and Kakadu Highways, the track into Alligator Billabong and 80km track out to West Alligator Head.
There are plenty of bush camp areas scattered about the Park as well as several commercial campgrounds as well.
LIMMEN NATIONAL PARK
(Image: The Southern Lost City sandstone formation in Limmen National Park)
They love their remote National Parks in the NT, and so do we, Limmen is another one of those. Located in the Gulf of Carpentaria, this Park offers great fishing, remote camping, spectacular sandstone formations and several river systems.
While the Southern Lost City is easily accessed, the Western Lost City is a little more challenging and trailers are not recommended. The “cities” are sandstone formations, weathered over time. The river systems and lagoons offer fantastic sport fishing and a twitchers paradise. Huge salties roam these waterways though, so be very aware.
Camping is available at Butterfly Springs, Towns River, Limmen Bight River, Southern Lost City and along the Roper River whilst commercial camping is available at Limmen Bight Fishing Camp and Lorella Springs Wilderness Park.
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