Bushwalkers looking for a challenging multi-day hike that's close to Darwin need look no further than the Tabletop Track in Litchfield National Park. This famous long-distance hike will take you past waterfalls, tropical monsoon rainforest and enticing swimming holes. The hike takes from three to five days, and while it's only 1.5 hours' drive from Darwin, it'll feel like you're a million miles from civilisation. Best suited to experienced walkers the trek requires a good level of fitness, and involves carrying your own equipment and supplies.
In three parts
The 39km circuit is divided into three sections. The first part takes you from Wangi Falls to Walker Creek, taking seven hours and covering 18.5km of up and down trails through woodland and creek crossings. The campsite is a well-earned reward for a long day's hike with tumbling waterfalls and a swimming hole. Section two heads towards Florence Falls, a five hour walk past unique sandstone formations and palm trees stretching for 12km. Once again there are waterfalls and crystal clear plunge pools awaiting you – an amazing feeling after a long day on the trail. The third section completes the loop, heading back towards Wangi Falls and involves an eight hour hike through paperbark trees and rugged rocky landscapes.
Wangi Falls is probably the park's highlight with great seasonal swimming. Be aware that during the rainy season between October and March swimming is off limits due to the danger of high water levels. However, the tradeoff is that this time is also at its most spectacular – so don't forget your camera! Termite mounds are another great feature found along the walk, and you'll marvel at their constructions of natural arches and pillars. Along the way you'll be sure to meet some of the local inhabitants too, from wallabies and bandicoots to northern quolls and flying foxes.