The Northern Territory in January is all about The Wet. This is the season of water, falling from the sky in sheets, banging percussion melodies on tin roofs and collecting in splash-able puddles in every dip in the pavement. The ground drinks its fill until it flows over with it, flooding out of drains and thundering out of pipes.
In the city, we have ways of dealing with the water. It’s not until you get out of town that you really see the control it has.
Driving out to Litchfield National Park at dawn, the sun rose on a landscape we did not recall. At our last visit the dryness had infiltrated the air, sucking moisture from our lungs until we longed for the water. The stiff grass crackled as the wind ran wild through it, and the soil screamed for whatever the sky would give. This time the green is everywhere. It bursts from the trees and fills the ground like a coat of neon earth. Growth at this speed seems radioactive, and the smell of rain hangs on the air.
When we arrive at Litchfield National Park and the rock holes, the sun has established itself in the sky. With it, humid wraps us up in a wet blanket of our own sweat, and we seek relief in the water. It’s not meant to be. As soon as we walk down the path we can see it’s too wild for swimming. The water throws itself from every surface, seeking downstream as thrill seekers might. Even on the small falls it rumbles, echoing off the morning light.
Our second set of waterfalls is viewed from a high. We wander down the footpath to the viewing area expecting to be magnificent and to feel as small as we are. Certainly, we are not disappointed, and even from our height we can hear the steady rolling thunder of thousands of litres of water plunging into the depths. It’s a sight that a photography struggles to capture.
After a run-in with some spiders (a whole other story), we make our way to waterfall number three. It’s a close encounter if we’ve ever had one. Just a few metres in front of us, Wangi Falls smashes into the pool, rolling repeated echoes off the cliffs and throwing mist in our eyes that blind us to its beauty. Standing on the edge, holding on to the rail, we let it wash over us. For a moment we stand there, soaked in fog as the sun rises behind the falls, lighting up each particle like a tropical snowflake. It’s a moment to get lost in.
This post originally appeared on BarefootBeachBlonde.com, the pre-evolved version of Maps And Mandalas. I’ve republished it here with its original date because I love it that much.