Top 11 Waterfalls and Waterholes across Kakadu, Litchfield and Jatbula

Making a splash at Edith Falls | Shaana McNaught
Making a splash at Edith Falls | Shaana McNaught

Nestled in the heart of the Northern Territory, these sacred lands are home to a collection of nature's most wondrous creations. From the towering cascades that reverberate with the echoes of their own majesty to the serene and crystal-clear swimming holes that beckon you for a refreshing dip, Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks are a haven for those seeking an escape into the stunning landscapes of Australia.

Whether you seek adventure, tranquility, or a deeper understanding of the land's rich heritage, Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks offer an all-encompassing experience that will leave you in awe.



This living cultural landscape sits on Bininj and Mungguy land and appears on the UNESCO World Heritage List for both its natural and cultural significance. 
Croc watch: Many saltwater crocs live in the waterways below the escarpment. Rangers work hard to remove dangerous crocs, but swimming is prohibited in these areas, as they can move back into the pool undetected. Freshwater crocodiles also occur here, they are usually very shy, but will become aggressive when feeling threatened. 
Hike into Jim Jim Falls for this amazing view |  <i>Shaana McNaught</i> Swimming at Jim Jim Falls |  <i>Shaana McNaught</i> The imposing Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu National Park |  <i>Shaana McNaught</i>

Jim Jim Falls (Barrkmalam) 

Prepare to be mesmerized by the majestic Jim Jim Falls, a 259m high marvel that dominates the Kakadu landscape. This is arguably one of the most popular highlights on our Kakadu Explorer, and you can see why. Wade into the mesmerising rockpools above the plateau, absorbing the incredible panoramic views of the park. Alternatively, bask in the awe-inspiring presence of the cliffs as you relax on the sandy beach at the base of the falls. 


Twin falls 

Similarly to Jim Jim Falls, Twin Falls offers a mesmerising experience. Swim in the captivating rockpools at the top, while revelling in the breathtaking escarpment views. During the dry season, witness the spectacular 150m split cascade from the base of the escarpment, immersing yourself in nature's grandeur.

*Please note that access to the lower pools may be restricted due to ongoing works, which are expected to be completed by 2024.

A refreshing dip at Maguk Falls in the Top End. |  <i>Kyle Hunter</i>

Maguk Falls

Embark on a leisurely stroll through the lush monsoon forest, and let the anticipation build as you make your way to Maguk Falls. Rejuvenate yourself in the crystal-clear swimming hole, fed by a pristine waterfall. This accessible gem is a local favourite, only accessible during the dry season. 


Motorcar Creek Falls is a great part of the Kakadu Walking Adventure |  <i>Rhys Clarke</i>

Motor Car Falls 

Though small, Motor Car Falls is a hidden gem that shines during the tropical summer. When Kakadu's more popular waterholes are off-limits, this pristine waterfall offers a serene swimming experience. Dive into its crystal-clear depths and relish in its tranquillity. 


Jatbula trail

One of the most popular treks in Australia, this trail follows the western edge of the Arnhem Land Escarpment and exists on Jawoyn Land. A maximum of 15 walkers can depart per day, which means this trail is often sold out. 
Croc Watch: Expect freshies along the Jatbula Trail. Do not disturb them and they will pose no threat to you. 
Relax in the splendid isolation of Sandy Camp Pool |  <i>Larissa Duncombe</i>

Sandy Camp Waterhole 

After a six-hour journey along Edith River, prepare to be pleasantly surprised as the rocky terrain surrenders to sandy ground, leading you to the spectacular Sandy Camp Waterhole. 

End your day by immersing yourself in its cool waters, while basking in the warm hues of a breathtaking sunset under the shade of Pandanus trees. 
Sweetwater pool on the Jatbula Trail |  <i>Emma Pierce</i>

Sweetwater Pool 

As your Jatbula adventure nears its end, treasure a night of bliss by indulging in the oasis of Sweetwater Pool. Discover its multiple pools, each adorned with gentle waterfalls cascading over short ledges. Surrender yourself to the serenity of this idyllic retreat. 


17 Mile Falls, set amongst serene and striking scenery |  <i>Holly Van De Beek</i>

17 Mile Falls 

Accessible only to trekkers on the Jatbula Trail, 17 Mile Falls unveils its breathtaking single-drop waterfall that flows year-round. This awe-inspiring spectacle offers one of the most unforgettable waterfall views along the trail, leaving you in awe of nature's grandeur. 
Upper pool and Falls at Edith Falls (Leliyn), Nitmiluk National Park.

Edith Falls (Leliyn) 

On the final day of the Jatbula Trail, bask in the beauty of the popular Edith Falls. Delight in panoramic views from two lookout points and cool off with a swim in the upper pool, savouring the tranquillity of this picturesque paradise. 

Litchfield Table Top 

About 120 km south of Darwin sits an ancient landscape shaped by waterways – Litchfield National Park. The Park sits on the borders of Werat, Koongurrukun, Waray and Mak Mak Marranunggu land. 
Croc Watch: Saltwater crocs can be found here mainly during the monsoonal season (October – April) when a lot of swimming holes are inaccessible. Park rangers survey the region, however like Kakadu, some sneaky crocs can make their way back in undetected. 
Wangi Falls from above |  <i>Tourism NT/Jackson Groves</i>


Among the most beloved swimming holes in Litchfield, Wangi boasts a large, deep-water pool that beckons you to take a refreshing dip. As you swim toward the magnificent falls, remember that swimming above them is prohibited for safety reasons. 
Day 6 Litchfield NP Florence Falls swim stop and walk - 29

Florence Falls 

Enjoy the allure of this oasis as you immerse yourself in the plunge pool, allowing the cascading water to rejuvenate your senses.  We prefer going in the morning before the crowds arrive - as we do on day three of our Litchfield Tabletop Trek. Don't miss the opportunity to swim in Florence Creek atop the falls, for some epic views. 


Tjaetaba Falls 

A place of deep spiritual significance to the Aboriginal custodians, Tjaetaba Falls welcomes you to swim in the spectacular plunge pool above the falls. While relatively smaller, its beauty remains captivating, offering a serene and reflective experience. 

Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks are a testament to the power and beauty of nature. The waterfalls that cascade down the rocky cliffs are a sight to behold and the crystal-clear swimming holes offer a respite from the heat. However, beyond the stunning landscapes, these national parks offer an opportunity to connect with the land and learn about the rich cultural heritage of the traditional owners.

The experience of visiting Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the beauty of nature, an enhanced respect for the environment, and a profound sense of wonder that will remain with you long after you leave. So, make sure to add this bucket-list destination to your travel itinerary and immerse yourself in the magic of Australia's natural wonders.

Comment (0)

Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.

b i u quote

Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips