Litchfield National Park reopens for swimming as coronavirus restrictions lift in the NT


Flocks of Territorians have come out to enjoy a beautiful dry-season day at the famed Litchfield National Park outside Darwin.

The only hints the Territory was in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic could be found in the large numbers of police around, and the signs at the park’s entrance urging people to stay 1.5 metres apart.

And perhaps a mad enthusiasm to enjoy newfound freedoms.

For 20-somethings Jemimah, Ash, Kara and Josh, the easing of strict restrictions came just in time.

“We have felt a bit cooped up, the four of us at home without a pool. Now, coming down here to Florence Falls is amazing.”

For Jemimah, the hope some normal life may be returning was deeply personal.

“I haven’t seen my dog Marlie since the borders shut,” she said.

“She is down in South Australia and I can’t wait to get her up here.”

Florence Falls is heaving with people, but it is obvious they are trying their best to remain physically distant.(ABC News: Henry Zwartz)

‘What I’ve been waiting for’

The NT Government rolled out stage one of its official roadmap out of COVID-19 lockdown on May 1.

It meant some waterholes, including Buley and Florence Falls, were open for Territorians from midday yesterday.

Florence Falls was heaving with people today, but it was obvious they were trying their best to remain physically distant.

“That is what I have been waiting for, I just can’t wait for that first chicken parmi and a nice cold one.”

Four happy people are sitting in a rock hole and smile at the camera.
Jordan, Kaylie, Ryan and Sam enjoyed relaxing in Litchfield National Park today, as did hundreds of other Territorians.(ABC News: Henry Zwartz)
COVID-19 restrictions
Litchfield National Park reopened for swimming today, but COVID-19 restrictions still apply.(ABC News: Henry Zwartz)

Camping full at Litchfield

People from Darwin were lining up from 8:00am yesterday to get the best camping spot in the national park.

Sites were scooped up, and full, and the enthusiasm did not die down overnight.

“Some of us are feeling a bit rusty”, Sam, who camped with friends in the park, said.

People at Buley Rockhole swim in small pools of water.
Hundreds of people enjoyed Litchfield National Park on the first full day of restrictions being eased.(ABC News: Henry Zwartz)

Kaylie said she was happy to be going for a swim but her number-one priority was returning to the gym, when it opened, to “sweat out some anxiety”.

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The Virus: We could be in for an ‘early mark’ on physical distancing measures



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