Does camping in the Northern Territory with your very own private waterhole tickle your fancy? If so then Walker Creek in the Northern Territory's Litchfield National Park is absolutely not to be missed.
As the name suggests, the campsites are walk-in only. However, if thats not your thing don't be put off just yet. The hike is very short, with all 8 of the campsites being scattered along a 2km trail that follows the crystal clear Walker Creek, meaning the furthest site is still less than 2km from your car.
Each camp site has a table, water access and space for a tent or 2. Ours also came with a complimentary water monitor (a type of a swimming lizard). The creek is deemed croc-free in the dry season once it has been cleared, however as usual with all swimming spots in the NT it's best to be alert, but not alarmed.
You can walk along Walker Creek as a short 3.5km return day hike OR you can pop you name down on the blackboard on your way in and secure yourself your very own private campsite (complete with some form of plunge pool and maybe even a waterfall!).
The Camp Spots
All 8 sites are pretty spectacular! When we arrived there wasn't anyone else in any of the sites so we got to pick which one we liked the most. We chose site 3, which was our favourite due to the huge pool and small waterfall! There was also some shade which was nice during the day. Site 4 was also nice, and sites 7 & 8 were super private (at the very end of the trail).
Site 2 was probably our least favourite and also the least private as the trail walks straight past it (the rest are short side trips off the main trail).
The Reservation System
Note that Walker Creek camping facilities are pretty basic, so come prepared with your own drinking water or means to treat the stream water before drinking. The sites share a couple of drop toilets which may be a little walk from your campsite - you'll need to bring your own loo paper too!
For more ideas of things to do and see in the NT check out our 4 Week Northern Territory Road Trip Itinerary
Nitmiluk National Park in Australia's Northern Territory is a real treat to outdoor enthusiasts.
With its variety of hiking and mountain biking trails, waterfalls, swimming holes and canoeing options it's pretty darn spectacular.
The park also hosts the famous 62km multi-day Jatbula trail. The trail can be completed over 5 or 6 days and books out months and months in advance. We were meant to do this hike at the end of August this year, however the trail was closed (for the first time ever) due to catastrophic fire danger. I was bummed, but it just means we'll have to head back another time.
The park is split up into two main visitor areas; Leliyn (Edith) Falls and Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. Edith Falls is 30km to the north of Katherine, where as the gorge is to the east of town. Both areas are accessible by all vehicles and there are campgrounds at both Leliyn (Edith Falls) and at the Katherine Gorge Visitor Centre, as well as plenty of campground options in Katherine town.
The Nitmiluk Campground at the gorge visitor centre is pretty pricey, at $23 per person for unpowered sites. They do have a pool and all the usual campground trimmings however, and at the time we stayed, free-to-use washing machines. What you're really paying for here is the proximity to the gorge and activities though which is very handy. If this is out of your budget though there are some cheaper options in town.
The campground at Edith Falls is far cheaper at $12 per person (there are only unpowered sites) and is a few 100 metres to the 'plunge pool' aka the giant swimming hole. Saturday nights at Edith Falls are pretty fun with opt-in well priced group meals and live music!
There are a couple of hikes here that you can do from the pool, both of which take you to a new and exciting swimming pool. Remember to start early in the day and take plenty of water as the temperatures here exceed the high 30's very regularly.
Leliyn Trail (Upper Pools) :
This loop heads up and around the back of the main fall and takes you to the upper falls and pool. It then returns via the Bemang lookout.
The upper pools can be a little quieter and are a nice spot to spend the day.
Sweetwater Pools Hike:
This trail heads along the beginning of the upper pools hike before splitting off and following the Jatbula trail to the Sweetwater Pool.
Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge
Nitmiluk National Park has over 10 stunning gorges. You are able to hike or canoe out to different areas and camp overnight. As well as hiking, there is a new network of mountain biking trails that was opened in July 2020. They are still under construction and when completed, will boast over 10km of trails through the park.
The hiking trails of the Southern Walks (the hikes at the Katherine end of the park) stretch out over lots of kilometres and all link up. The hikes all start at the visitors centre so depending on how big of a day you after you may need to camp out somewhere overnight to get to the furthest gorge (it's over 10km one way on foot if you take the shortest route).
A few popular day hikes are:
Find a PDF from NT Parks of the Southern hiking trails here
You've seen the photos, you've heard the stories and now you want a piece of the action for yourself. And who wouldn't!
Canada's Berg Lake Trail is arguably one of the most sought-after back country camping permits available for Canada's summer months, and spots sell out quickly!
The trail begins near the Mount Robson Visitors centre and climbs steadily to the glacial fed Berg Lake. Along the way you'll be surrounded by mountains, cruise past waterfalls, hike over suspension bridges, have lunch staring at glaciers and see lakes bluer than anything we saw in Canada, and if you know anything about lakes in Canada you'll know that that is really saying something!
Fun Fact: The view of Mount Robson from the Visitors Centre is absolutely breathtaking on a clear day, and totally worth a stop on your road trip if you don't have time to fit hiking any of the trail in.
The trail is 23km in length and rises from 853m (2800ft) elevation at the trail head to 1649m (5410ft) at Robson Pass, a total elevation gain of almost 800m (2600 ft). Along the way there are 7 reservable campsites.
We ran in and out in a day as a training run, it was a lot of fun but a very big day! Unless you're into running or hiking very long distances in a single day we'd definitely recommend taking a few nights along the trail to really enjoy it. We think it's be preferable to get to Berg Lake and have a night or 2 there to explore the trails surrounding the area.
The 7 reservable camp sites along the Berg Lake Trail (marked by the green stars on the map above):
Sites are reservable at the Discover Camping website and reservations are can be made as early as October 1st each year for the following season.
For example: To book a spot for July 2020 you will want to be ready to book on October 1st 2019. It can seem like a bit of a hassle having to book that far in advance, but oh boy is it worth it
I'll break the hike up into 3 bite sized pieces.
Berg Lake Trail Head to Lake Kinney:
In A Nutshell (From The Trailhead): 7km, 131m (800ft) elevation gain
Nice and easy. This portion of the trail winds through forest track along the shore of the Robson River with some small but very manageable rises in elevation. You'll be rewarded handsomely with your first glimpses of Kinney lake and Mount Robson, and I promise you will be happy you've made it this far.
* For those who are not interested in doing a huge multiway (or very long single day) hike we really recommend Kinney lake! It's easily achievable for hikers of all abilities and the lake itself is extremely beautiful!
Kinney Lake to Emperor Falls
In A Nutshell (From The Trailhead): 16km, 762m (2500ft) elevation gain
From Kinney Lake on to Whitehorn Campground you will continues to hike up hill slowly, from the trailhead to Whitehorn you will have travelled 11km and gained only 250m (800ft) in elevation. A modest gain in elevation.
However the next portion of the trail is where it starts to get a little trickier. From Whitehorn to Emperor falls it is only 5km, but in that 5km you will gain 518m (1700ft), more than double the climbing you've already done in half the distance!
AS stated, this next part is steep, but there are plenty of stops and viewpoints along the way to rest. Don't forget to check out the falls and give yourself a pat on the back, the hard part is done!
Emperor Falls to Berg Lake (& The Various Campgrounds around it)
In A Nutshell (From The Trailhead): To Marmort Campground 19km, 792m, To Berg Lake Campground 21km, 788m, To Rearguard Campground 22km, 793m, To Robson Pass Campground 23km, 796m
The next section from Emperor Falls to Berg Lake is relatively flat with only 30m in elevation gain over the final 7km of the hike. You will first get to Marmot campground on the shores of Berg Lake first. You'll get your first glimpses of the incredible glacier feeding the lake and if you're lucky views of the peak of Mount Robson looming over you.
From Marmot Campground it is another 2km along the lake shore on to Berg Lake Campground and then both Rearguard and Robson Campgrounds are only a few kilometres further.
Berg Lake Trail was our favourite stop in all of BC and Alberta on our 3 week road trip. We absolutely loved it, and highly recommend anyone doing as such or as little of it as appeals to them.
G'day I'm Bec
I'm an Aussie who loves travelling, hiking, trail running and pretty much any activity you can do outdoors.
This blog may contain several affiliate links to products and services that I use and love. By clicking on these links, I might get a teeny tiny contribution towards my travel fund, at no extra cost to you!
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