A short journey of the feet
Wangi Falls to Cascades
Litchfield National Park Hike
Wangi Falls to Cascades
What started out as a casual conversation with my new neighbor over the back fence turned into a mutual commitment to get to know each other a bit better by undertaking a bit of hiking in Litchfield Park. Chris, the intrepid Scotsman who moved to Darwin with his partner to manage ‘Enterprise’ car rentals was up for the adventure.
With a minimum of preparation and fuss we found ourselves heading to Wangi Falls to tackle a small section of the Tabletop Track hike. All up the Table Top hike is about 39 Km plus some significant extra bits if you are keen to wander down off the top to the waterfalls and swim holes which decorate its perimeter.
We had decided on a sub section of the Wangi to Walker Creek section of the Tabletop Track. We were looking to hike from Wangi Falls to Cascades. This we figured could easily be accomplished in a day with enough time to put it into cruise mode.
Our plan was simple. Start at Wangi Falls around 9 am, trek to Cascades and hitch hike back to our start point. All up this would mean about 10 Km of hiking and about 6 km of hitch hiking.
As it turned out, we ended up doing the lot by foot as the hitching was a non starter 🙁 )
As for the rest …
Wangi Falls …
… is a massive waterfall with a huge natural swimming pool at the end of the 40 metre drop. During tourist season this is one of the must sees and do’s and can get hectic if you do not know how to avoid the crowds. Right now … no-one around !
Taking the Wangi Falls Loop Track path which runs around and up the side of the falls is the first stage of the journey. This has another narrow path coming off it at the top which links up with the Tabletop Track. Stepping onto that mini track and wandering another 1.9 km sees us united with the Tabletop Track itself … and off we go !
…. Cascades is another stunning spot in Litchfield. It features a long exposed river bed of sandstone with a scattering of clear rock pools and a small waterfall (Curtain Falls) to relax in before snaking through a shallow gorge and monsoonal forest area.
Typically not very busy also due in part to the moderate amount of walking and scrambling one has to do to get there makes this a great place to start or finish a hike from.
Having said that, the Tabletop Track does not actually have a connection with the Cascade area so one must be willing (and permitted) to undertake a smiggen of navigation through the landscape to locate the Tabletop Track or the Cascade loop track depending on which you are going.
My suggestion would be to go Wangi Falls to Cascades simply because it is easy to miss the Tabletop Track path and you could end up anywhere :).
Features of the hike …
… with out a doubt hiking in Litchfield in general provides many gems. For me the first and most common is the sense of peace and stillness of the landscape. No matter how many times you stand on a rock and look out across the plains below or the sky above there is always a connection there that quietens the soul. This is it for me.
As a bonus the track takes in some very accessible and friendly swimming spots / waterfalls (Jeruk Falls, Tjenya Falls), hills and a balance of flat sections to allow for the pulse to come down and sweat to evaporate … at least in the dry season. I will let you know how it goes in the wet !
|Distance Covered||16 km|
|Level of effort||6/10|
|According to plan factor||7/10|
|Time of year||July|