Buley Rockhole is a series of cascades interspersed with flat rock shelves.
There are actually several rockholes within the rock
shelves that are surprisingly deep (greater than 2 metres) and suitable for swimming. Alternatively you can find a spot on the rock shelves
or within a cascade to relax and let the water rush over you at any depth you choose. It is wonderfully refreshing on those hot days in
the Top End.
Above: A group of people relaxing around the pool in the middle section of Buley Rockhole
(Order this image)
The rock can be slippery. I suggest you keep your centre of gravity low with crab like movements as you wander across
the rock to avoid a dangerous fall.
You can scramble, jump or swim the full length of the rockholes from top to bottom, or use
the dirt path beside the river to enter wherever you like.
When I visited there was a local who made a hobby of duck diving with a face mask for lost items in the lower pool.
He came up with a shiny ring in less than a minute, so I suggest you leave your jewellery somewhere safe to save it from being washed away.
The number of car spaces in the car park is limited to prevent overcrowding. If the car park is full, signs advise you to
come back later. The best time to visit is early and late in the day to avoid the tour groups.
Other Information Before You Go:
Access Road off Litchfield Park Road, Litchfield National Park, 140 km (approx. 2 hr drive) south of the Darwin city centre
From Darwin take the Stuart Hwy southwards and turn off at the signs to
Litchfield National Park (via Batchelor). The turnoff to Buley Rockhole is well signposted within the National Park.
Toilets, campground. There are no bins, so take your rubbish with you.
None for Northern Territory residents. A park pass is required for swimming from 2023 for visitors from outside of the Northern Territory.
Maximum water depth:
Greater than 2 metres
Minimum suggested swimming proficiency:
Beginners in the shallower areas, experienced
in the deeper pools
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog:
No swimming during the wet season, no pets, no generators, no glass
containers within 10 m of the water, no feeding of native animals, no nets, no traps, no firearms, light fires only in fireplaces
provided, no soaps or detergents in or near waterways, stay on marked roads and tracks.
Shade available in and out of the water at the lower pool. No shade available at the upper pools.
NT Parks and Wildlife Service
Nearby attractions: Florence Falls
is around the corner
Before you head out, make sure to read the
swimming safety information
and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions.
Specific to Litchfield National Park, the managing authority warns of the presence of scrub typhus, which is caused by bites from a mite.
Precautions include wearing enclosed footwear, long trousers, insect repellent, camping away from dense forests, and using a
ground sheet when sitting or laying on the ground.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the pools at the rockhole. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can sometimes occur when loading, simply click or tap on "View Larger Map" below.
View Larger Map
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