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The adventures of Fe & Chris

Litchfield vs Kakadu

The relative pros of Litchfield vs the cons of Kakadu National Parks seems to be an ongoing discussion between travellers to the Top End of Australia, with the oft quoted “Litchfield do, Kaka-don’t”. I’m not sure where this stems from, and now that I have visited both of the national parks, I feel inclined to add my own humble(!) opinions.

Firstly, I think that the two parks, although close to each other, are too different to compare in terms of the scenery that they have to offer - Kakadu has some amazing rock formations, some very interesting aboriginal rock art and a variety of different ecosystems - from sand dunes to waterfalls to forests (we didn’t have a 4WD so didn’t get to the main waterfall attractions), oh and lots of crocodiles (and flies, lots of flies)

On the other hand, Litchfield seems to be most popular for its waterfalls and pools that offer (mainly) croc-free cooling swims. Unfortunately we wished we’d paid more heed to the guide book when it said to avoid Litchfield at weekends - it was heaving with beer drinking, loud music playing Darwinians, hmmm not really our cup of tea. We managed to get in a couple of early swims on the Sunday morning before the crowds arrived though, phew!

We enjoyed both places, for the different reasons listed and found the main distinguishing features between them to be the quality of the campsites - Litchfield is more expensive, yet lower quality - no hot water (not that it’s really needed), no lighting, and in some cases no showers at all - only toilets, yet you still have to pay $6.60 EACH (~3 pounds), as opposed to free (if there’s only toilets) or $5.40 in Kakadu. Hrmph. In Katherine, where we are at the moment, it is even more expensive, and with even less quality facilities - I don’t understand these disparities, why can’t we just camp for free? In fact that is our next mission - to find a place we can stay for nothing - we have our lovely solar shower and a trowel, what more do we need?!


  Keir wrote @ October 30th, 2007 at 2:34 am

Sorry but am I being a thick jock here and missing the point of a campervan and its ability to pull over at any point and miraculously switch from car to house in a cool tranformer-esc maner? Or is that not the done thing.

Being the little statisticians that you are, would it be possible for you to graph quality vs price in a scatter graph? I think this would prove a very useful excercise between dips with locals and crocs

  Bella wrote @ October 30th, 2007 at 6:05 am

Wow, you found toilets and showers?! That’s impressive, we managed to stay at campsites in Kakadu that consisted of a clearing in the forest, no payment needed and definately no toilet. All well and good until I got food poisoning (and they try to tell me the fish was cooked….) and then I would have paid substanial amounts for a toilet!
Oooo just wait til you get to the loos at Ayres Rock, what a joy.

  Graeme wrote @ October 30th, 2007 at 6:40 am

We camped in a fine range of places in Kakadu, from the most mosquito ridden damp depression ever (with a long drop) that was free to a great place with a huge range of sizes of spiders to look at in the shower. Katherine was horrid as it was full of so called ‘gap’ year twats from the UK (I think ‘gap’ refers to the space between their ears).
We never got to Litchfield, so I cannot comment, but I though Kakadu was excellent (esp. if you get away from the crowds) as it was teaming with birds and other wildlife (it was either Mamukala or Mataranka where there were birds stretching to the horizon). As I recall, we thought about Litchfield but decided against it due to it, at the time, being recognised as just too crowded and less of a wild life place, more of a people place. I hate people.

  Dad and Ann wrote @ October 30th, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Remember, whilst a Croc is not a vegetarian they do find vegetarians very tasty. Still waiting to see some of these great photos that you have been taking with your new camera. I assume it is working OK.

  Soph wrote @ November 1st, 2007 at 9:18 am

Just to let you know that my real (as opposed to the one Mum made on the computer) B’day card arrived yesterday (31st Oct). Thank you very much! I’m glad to know you felt that I was worth 3 times the cost of a normal postcard :-)

  Chris wrote @ November 9th, 2007 at 4:20 am

Kakadu has loads of wildlife, whereas Litchfield has places to swim and heaps of grockels.

Enough said.

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