The stunning waterfalls of Litchfield National Park are often experienced as a day trip for tourists out of Darwin. But taking more time to explore the Greater Litchfield Loop, earlier in the season, is a much more rewarding option.
Story Terri Cowley Photos Peter Pap
Soon after arriving in the permeating wet March heat of the thriving northern capital, tourists meeting with Larrakia man Trent Lee gain an immediate connection to country in the sands of Darwin’s windswept Casuarina Beach.
It’s the first of a long list of experiences available to travellers on the Greater Litchfield Loop – a 500-plus kilometre touring route from Darwin south to stunning Litchfield National Park via historic Adelaide River and back through the fishing hamlet of Dundee Beach, a place that may have some of the best sunsets on the planet.
Trent’s Saltwater Cultural Tours immerse visitors in local Indigenous culture, inviting them to wash away their sweat in the shallow waters of the Timor Sea. Trent explains that now, after a long wet, is the perfect time for hunting as the floodplains are groaning with geese, ducks and other waterbirds. “It is important to keep culture alive,” Trent says. “A lot of people I grew up with are not that interested, but my dad made it very important for us, taking us out camping for days at a time.” The former police officer came back to Darwin to continue the tourism venture started by his grandfather and father.
In the shadow of the dramatic cliffs and casuarina trees that characterise the silica beach, Trent demonstrates spear throwing, fire making and weaving of hibiscus bracelets.
This story excerpt is from Issue #149
Outback Magazine: June/July 2023