A new 4WD accessible campground with 10 sites will open in Litchfield National Park this weekend, with two more campgrounds set to open in the area once construction is complete. How good’s having new places to explore?!
As someone living in the Top End right now, let me tell you, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few more campgrounds around the national parks. Combine the dry season, grey nomads, and the fact the NT is one of the only places you’re actually allowed to travel in Aus right now, and come Friday sunset, there’s not one campsite left unclaimed.
Which is why it’s super handy that Litchfield National Park is opening up a new campground at Central Valley this weekend. Woohoo!
A second and third campground will open in the coming months, to create a total of 32 sites at Central Valley.
The new developments come as a part of a $17.5 million Turbo Charging Tourism Project.
‘This Government is committed to protecting and conserving our parks, and these upgrades will ease overcrowding with new camping, swimming and walking spots to please visitors of all ages,’ said Minister for Parks and Rangers Selena Uibo.
As well as campgrounds by spring-fed creeks, there’ll be a new lookout with views over an escarpment, plus new hiking and biking tracks that connect Central Valley to Lost City and Litchfield Park Access Rd.
But unlike many of the other campgrounds in Litchfield, it’s not as simple as rocking up, pegging your tent and chucking $6 in the honesty box. There are quite a few new rules around these campgrounds so listen up!
All of these campgrounds require high clearance and are 4WD accessible only. If you want to camp here you’ll need to leave your campervan at home.
Unlike nearly every other campground in Litchfield National Park at the moment, you’ll need to book your spot at the Central Valley campgrounds ahead of time and online. This is a more lengthy process than the standard click and pay booking.
It’s best to first contact the permits office to check availability for the days you want to camp – you can book up to three months ahead of time.
If there’s still room, you’ll need to complete a booking application form, email it to the permits office, and pay your camping fee up front. The office will call you to let you know if your permit has been approved or not.
Collect The Access Key
The road to Central Valley is blocked by a gate that can only be accessed by those who have a key. The day before you head off on your trip, visit the permit office in Milner (Darwin) or Katherine during business hours to collect your access key. You’ll need to leave a $250 deposit for the key at the office as well, which can be paid by cash or card.
Make sure you return the key to the office within three days of the end date of your permit.
Closed During Wet Season
If you want to camp at Central Valley you’ll need to visit between May and November in order to access the campground. The road to Central Valley is closed during the wet season, even to 4WDs.
Camping Fees & Limits
Payment for most campgrounds in Litchfield relies on an honesty box system, but to camp at Central Valley you’ll need to pay when you apply for your booking. Booking fees for the campgrounds are;
- $20 per adult
- $10 per child (5-17 years)
- $50 per family (2 adults & 4 kids)
Maximum people at each campsite is six and only one vehicle and trailer is permitted per site.
New Nature to Explore
Ok, so they’re not making it easy to get to these campgrounds, but when it’s the first time opening up a section of nature that’s never had tourists before, easing people in slowly, and making sure it’s only the those who really want to be there that visit, is certainly a good call.
We can’t wait to check out the new spot for ourselves!
Photos thanks to Northern Territory Government