From a distance they look like tombstones and you wonder what kind of graveyard this is.
But what you see aren't tombstones. They're actually magnetic termite mounds and you find them in Litchfield National Park, near the town of Batchelor, 100 kilometres southwest of Darwin.
Magnetic termite mounds rising to as much as three metres or more in height are shaped like slabs rising out of the ground with their flat sides facing east and west. The thin ends are thus on a north-south axis, giving rise to the term "magnetic."
Rather than being influenced by magnetic forces, the mounds are actually so well crafted that their flat, broad sides, and hence the mounds themselves, do not catch too much heat from the sun during the hottest part of the day.
Closer to Darwin
It is closer to Darwin than the better-known Kakadu National Park (260 kilometres from Darwin) and is more convenient for daytrippers who find they have more time to spend in the park itself.
Aside from the intriguing termite mounds, Litchfield National Park features numerous waterfalls dropping from the sandstone plateau known as the Tabletop Range and the weathered sandstone pillars which as a group comprise the Lost City, much like the ancient ruins of some fabled land.
For the visitor out for a picnic amid striking natural surrounds, Litchfield National Park offers suitable areas at Florence Falls, Tabletop Swamp, Greenant Creek, Wangi Falls and Walker Creek.
A kiosk is located at Wangi Falls.
Walkways and information centres throughout the park combine to enhance the visitor experience.
Most areas have toilet facilities, disabled access, and emergency call devices.
Swimming spots at Litchfield National Park include Wangi, Florence, Tjaynera Falls and Buley Rockhole. Swimming is not allowed in the Reynolds River.
Walking tracks of one to three kilometres in length are well marked and signposted.
But if you plan an extended, overnight walk, you will need a permit prior to your visit from the Parks and Wildlife Office in the nearby town of Batchelor or at Palmerston.
You can reach the Lost City on foot or by four-wheel-drive vehicle.
The track into the section where the Lost City is located is extremely rocky and rough. If driving to the Lost City, it is advisable that only 4WD vehicles are used and only people experienced in handling these vehicles should attempt the journey.
A variety of coach tours to Litchfield National Park are available in Darwin.