Edith Falls: A Surprise Highlight of the Northern Territory

Edith FallsLeliyn/Edith Falls was one of my favorite stops in the Northern Territory because it was one of the most pleasant waterfall swims I’ve ever experienced. The bottom plunge pool is enormous, but the upper pools are where I’d recommend spending the most time.

I’d never used the phrase ‘plunge pool’ to talk about waterfall pools, but it seems to be the done thing in Australia’s top end. Makes sense—the water plunges into the cool, clear pool and so do you.

We spent two nights at the National Park campground for $12 per person per night. It’s a nice spot and you can walk to the bottom pool in minutes. Be careful when crossing the grass as we saw our first snake of the trip!

Main Pool

Edith Falls main plunge pool, NT Australia
Way too much croccy water between me and the main falls.

The main plunge pool is huge, with cold fresh water, which means it’s a perfect habitat for freshwater crocs. We didn’t see any, and the falls are part of the crocodile management program so it is monitored for any sneaky saltwater intruders.

Still, I was too nervous to swim the 100+ meters across the water to the falls. You can tell me freshies aren’t aggressive but I don’t want to find out.

Upper Pool

Gorgeous waterfalls at Edith Falls upper pools
The upper falls AKA heaven.

There is a 2.6km Grade 3 loop trail that takes you from the bottom pool through the top; alternatively you can take the 1km trail from the top of the car park and come back the same way. The plunge pool is smaller and less intimidating, plus there are two other pools where you can swim. It’s a gorgeous, isolated spot.

Upper Edith Falls, where you can swim and be croc safe
Swimming up and under this pounding water was panic-inducing but worth it for the adrenaline rush.
After swimming in Edith Falls' upper plunge pool
Blissed out from my close encounter with a waterfall.
The middle pools at Edith Falls, as viewed from the hiking trail
The middle pools – look but don’t touch, there’s no access to them.

Sweetwater Pool

Sweetwater Pools at Edith Falls NT Australia
So fresh and so clean clean

Lace up your shoes and pack a backpack with snacks and water before taking on this trail. It’s an 8.6km Grade 4 track that climbs well past the top pools to a peaceful swimming spot. So peaceful, in fact, that we accidentally crashed the party of a solo nude bather. It was a good way of being active and I’m glad we did the walk, but if you’re short on time hit the top pools; they’re the pick of the bunch.

Sitting at the Sweetwater Pools
Feeling awkward about the nude man (not pictured) in the distance.

If you visit Edith Falls

    • Leliyn/Edith Falls is part of the Nitmiluk National Park and there are no fees for entry.
    • The Falls are 60km north of Katherine.
    • The campsite doesn’t take bookings, so arrive as early as possible. Only unpowered sites are available.
    • The kiosk sells basic supplies and hot meals; check opening times.
    • A weak Telstra signal is available at the kiosk.
Edith Falls Pinterest Graphic

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