4WDing in Litchfield

Where: Reynolds Track in Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory
Permits: None
Costs: $6.60 per adult per night for camping (standard NT National Parks fees)
Difficulty: Moderate (Reynolds River is a deep river crossing which requires extra care. Vans longer/wider than our Conqueror UEV490 will struggle to cross).
Days required to do it justice: 1-2days

Litchfield National Park is home to a lot of bitumen leading into some great, if a little overcrowded, waterfalls. It  is also home to the lesser known Reynolds Track, a  4WD only track which connects Daly River to the main Litchfield Park Road. The track may be only 44 kilometres long but its packed full of 4WD challenge and remote and uncrowded scenery.

Woodland drive at Litchfield

Woodland drive at Litchfield

We took the track from the Daly River Road to ensure our drive to Darwin was a bit more interesting than hours of blacktop. The track weaves through tropical woodland, floodplains and into a number of creek crossings – some a trickle and some significantly more than a trickle. Reynolds River itself is by far the highlight of the drive. This crocodile inhabited river is crossed in two parts – the first is a short 20 metre long section followed by a right hand turn onto a small sand bank and then on into the main and deepest (800+mm) part of the river where the water was well and truly sloshing against the doorframes.

Crossing the Reynolds River at Litchfield

Crossing the Reynolds River at Litchfield

The beauty of this track is being able to visit uncrowded waterholes such as Surprise Creek Falls which was ‘surprisingly’ free of crocodiles. We were therefore able to climb up to the top rock pool for a swim in crystal clear water. There’s also the Blyth Homestead, used by the early settlers as a base for working a station and a tin mine. The stories of hardship and daily life retold here are extraordinary, my favourite being about the little boy Michael who had a pet crocodile (a pet!) who followed him around everywhere.

Surprise Creek Falls

Surprise Creek Falls

The strangest thing about the Reynolds Track is the speed humps that some bright spark has decided to add to an already tricky 4WD experience. Built, presumably, as a result of other bright sparks driving way to fast along this road. The humps are enough to make your car and van fly in the air if you hit them at the wrong speed when caught a little unawares.

 

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