About Robin Falls
Robin Falls was once an obscure waterfall that we had stumbled upon while combing through our very useful road atlas during our pre-trip research prior to our June 2006 visit to Australia.
However, over the years, this waterfall had gained in popularity, which we witnessed for ourselves when we returned to it in June 2022.
I suspect that a big reason for its popularity was that it featured a three-tiered waterfall with a cumulative height of about 20-25m.
It involved a fairly straightforward and short 1.2km return hike with some moderate scrambling towards the end.
With some additional careful scrambling, there was also a plunge pool between the second and third drop that offered croc-free swimming with a nice little view to boot.
Being that it was a short distance from the town of Adelaide River, which itself was not far south of the town of Batchelor, we also noticed a lot of people camping alongside its seasonal creek near its trailhead.
When To Visit Robin Falls
Like with most of the waterfalls in the Top End of Australia, most of the area’s annual rainfall tends to occur during the Wet (typically between November and April though Climate Change has been shrinking this window).
Both times that we’ve visited Robin Falls has been in early June so you can get an idea of how much flow there ought to be in that transitional period between the Wet and Dry Seasons.
I can’t say for certain when the creek and waterfall goes dry, but I’d imagine by around July or August the falls stops putting on a show.
That said, given the seasonal nature of the creek, there is a low probability of saltwater crocodile attacks, especially if you do choose to scramble up to the pool beneath the second tier of the falls.
Since this waterfall faces east, it tends to get decent light (if it’s sunny) in the morning.
Towards midday and in the afternoon, you pretty much have to look against the sun for the most part so it’s not ideal for taking pictures.
That was precisely what happened to us on our first visit, which took place at around 2pm in the afternoon.
You’d probably have to wait until later in the afternoon when the sun would be completely behind the cliffs casting long shadows and thus making the lighting even again.
How To Experience Robin Falls
From the end of the Robin Falls Road (see directions below), the trail pretty much followed along the creek responsible for the waterfall.
It was a pretty straightforward walk on a trail that was pretty obvious to follow for the most part (though there was one fork that eventually converged back on the main trail).
Shortly after a confluence where Robin Creek was joined by another creek, we kept to the right along the banks of the main creek though the trail started to become a little rougher.
In one stretch, the trail involved a little bit of an aided rock hop to keep the feet dry before resuming with the main trail.
After a few more minutes, the trail then ended at the plunge pool with a somewhat partial view of Robin Falls (especially its lower tiers, which twisted over its final two drops).
In order to get a closer and cleaner look at the entirety of the waterfall, we had to carefully scramble on the slippery rocks to the right side of the creek.
This is where having a good pair of hiking boots as well as some experience comes in handy since a slip and fall here can cause some serious injury here.
We managed to scramble a little further up alongside the bottommost drop of Robin Falls, where we then accessed another plunge pool that was more secluded and yielded a nice view downstream.
Overall, this excursion took us a little over an hour even though we spent a bit of time at the waterfall itself.
By the way, we noticed that this waterfall might be referred to as “Robyn Falls.”
At least Lonely Planet Australia (we had the 12th edition published 2004) spelled it out this way.
However, my useful Explore Australia 2006 Road Atlas spelled it with as Robin Falls, which was the convention we were sticking with.
From what I could tell, this waterfall didn’t have a formally-recognized Aboriginal name though its traditional owners are the Kungarakan people.
Robin Falls resides in the Coomalie Shire near Adelaide River in the Northern Territory. It is administered by the Coomalie Community Government Council. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
Robin Falls is near the town of Adelaide River so we’ll describe the driving directions from there.
From the town of Adelaide River, we then followed the signed Dorat Road (Road 23), which left the highway and continued on a narrower but sealed road.
After about 12km from the town, we then encountered a signed road junction with the Robin Falls access road.
At that point, we followed the rather rutted access road to its end (a high clearance vehicle is recommended though I’ve seen passenger vehicles make it if they went REAL carefully).
There were a handful of day use parking spots at the dead-end.
For some geographical context, Adelaide River was 32km (30 minutes drive) south of Batchelor, 112km (under 90 minutes drive) south of Darwin, 113km (over 1 hour drive) northwest of Pine Creek, and about 205km (over 2 hours drive) northwest of Katherine.
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