About Tolmer Falls
Tolmer Falls was definitely one of the taller waterfalls we encountered while touring Litchfield National Park as was said to drop about 35m from the Tabletop Range.
However, unlike the other waterfalls we saw in the park, it didn’t seem like getting to interact with the waterfall was sanctioned.
Nevertheless, it was pretty easy to view if you’re just content to check out the falls from its lookout.
That’s where we got to appreciate its tall and slender shape as the waterfall dropped into its deep and shadowy gorge.
If you’re real observant, you might also notice that there’s a natural bridge further upstream from the waterfall though you have to look carefully.
Experiencing Tolmer Falls
There’s really only one way to experience Tolmer Falls, which is by the aforementioned lookout.
According to the signs, the walk straight to the Tolmer Falls lookout is only 800m round trip, but there’s also an additional 200m return detour to the escarpment lookout.
So for all intents and purposes, most people will have walked 1km round-trip without doing the Tolmer Creek Loop, which can easily be done in a half-hour.
That said, you can easily extend the experience by going on the aforementioned Tolmer Creek Loop though it only yields a quieter bush walk with the odd upstream cascade sighting.
Doing the circuit made the walking distance on the order of 2km, and it pretty much doubled the time commitment.
Throughout the fringes of Tolmer Creek, there were signs prohibiting access to what were once access trails going into the Tolmer Gorge, which had been closed since the 1990s.
The main reason for the closure was to protect critically endangered bats – i.e. the Orange Leaf-nose Bat (or Orange Horseshoe Bat) and the Ghost Bat.
When we first visited in June 2006, people generally respected the signs.
However, when we came back in June 2022, we saw quite a handful of people ignore the signs and access a plunge pool between the brink of the falls and the natural bridge.
If the goal is to see the natural bridge, we found that it’s best to follow use-trails well upstream of both the natural bridge and falls.
In low flow, we managed to cross Tolmer Creek and went to an informal spot just above another natural bridge that the creek disappeared into, which yielded a decent look at the main natural bridge.
That said, without going into the protected gorge, you still can’t see sky through the natural bridge and so it’s not that satisfying of a view.
Anyways, the rest of the loop walk veered away from Tolmer Creek before rejoining the shelter at the main track just a few paces from the car park.
Timing Tolmer Falls
Even though Tolmer Falls was easily experienced from an easy-to-access lookout, getting a good picture and viewing experience was deceptively tricky.
Both times we’ve been to this waterfall, it was during the start of the Dry Season in June, where the weather tended to be sunny, but that also meant if you don’t time your visit right, you’ll have to deal with shadows.
Indeed, if we show up too early, then the waterfall will tend to hide in the shadows of its gorge.
However, if we show up too late, then the shadows will tend to split the waterfall against the brightness of the surrounding cliffs.
In my experience, the best time to view the falls (at least using a sunny June day as a reference point) would be somewhere between 1:30-2:30pm.
As for seasonal timing, Tolmer Falls (like most waterfalls in the Top End) has its highest volume during the Wet Season (typically November – April) and diminishes throughout the Dry Season (typically May – October).
That said, Global Warming and Climate Change is already changing the historical norms where the Wet Season seems to be happening later and within a narrower window.
Tolmer Falls resides in Litchfield National Park near Batchelor in the Northern Territory. It is administered by the Northern Territory Government. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
Tolmer Falls is located towards the western part of the main road (Litchfield Park Road) about 55km west of Batchelor and Rum Jungle.
The well-signed turnoff is to the south side (left as you drive west) of the main road.
Find A Place To Stay
Related Top 10 Lists
No Posts Found
Trip Planning Resources
Featured Images and Nearby Attractions
Visitor Comments:Got something you'd like to share or say to keep the conversation going? Feel free to leave a comment below...
No users have replied to the content on this page
Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:If you have a waterfall story or write-up that you'd like to share, feel free to click the button below and fill out the form...
No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall