Hi there fellow adventurers! I’m excited to share with you my recent trip from Darwin to Nitmiluk National Park, a breathtaking oasis in the heart of the Northern Territory. From designing the perfect ring to popping the question (I’ll get to that soon) at the Southern Rock Hole, this trip was filled with adventure and romance. So buckle up, grab your hiking boots, and let’s hit the road!
The ring!Let’s talk about the ring for a moment, shall we? This wasn’t your average, run-of-the-mill engagement ring. Oh no, I wanted to make sure it was a real showstopper. With the help of my talented friend, Daniel Ferguson (you can find him on Instagram @ddfjewellers), we designed a stunning 1.5-carat round, brilliant-cut diamond set on a platinum engagement ring. It was a masterpiece that took six weeks to source and create. And let me tell you, the anxiety I had transporting it all the way from Sydney to Darwin was insane – do you know how many times I checked my bag??? But, hey, it was all worth it in the end, to see the look on Meghan’s face when she saw it. It made my heart melt.
The drive from Darwin to Nitmiluk National Park
The road trip from Darwin to Nitmiluk National Park is a relatively easy 3.5-hour drive. We made one stop at Coles in Coolalinga to grab some snacks for the road. As we approached the park, we were blown away by the stunning red-rock landscapes and lush greenery that surrounded us. And of course, we had our 90s and Naughty’ s Bangers playlist on full blast the entire way! Because you know “Iiiiiii want it thaaaat way!”
Side note: Before embarking on this journey, be sure to pack some essentials like sunscreen, bug spray, and most importantly, a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Trust me, you don’t want to end up with blisters on the first day! And don’t forget to bring a camera or smartphone to capture all the stunning scenery you’ll encounter on your journey.
Booking accommodationWe opted to stay at the Nitmiluk Cabins, which were perfect for our needs. At $250 per cabin, per night, it was a budget-friendly option that gave us the flexibility to be close to all the action. Tucked away among the trees, it offered a peaceful retreat after a long day of exploring. And let’s not forget, it was the perfect spot to enjoy a few glasses of champagne!
The hike to Southern RockholeThe hike to Southern Rock Hole was undoubtedly the highlight of our trip, and not just because it’s where I proposed! We set out early in the morning around 7am, eager to beat the heat and the crowds. While the hike is an 8-kilometre return walk from the car park, we opted to only walk one way as there is a ferry that can take you back to the visitor centre. The cost is $17 each way, and the friendly team at the visitor centre can help you book it (you can find more information here. As we journeyed deeper into the park, we were struck by the sheer beauty of the landscape. The rocky terrain gave way to lush vegetation and crystal-clear streams, and we encountered plenty of wildlife along the way.
Get your daily fix of Northern Territory beauty by following us on Instagram
Join our Newsletter List
Be the first to get travel hints and local recommendations.
It was a beautiful summer’s day, the sun was shining, and the birds were singing (how corny I hear you say…. yes I know, but it’s true!!).
As we approached the rock hole, I was amazed but the amount of water flowing down and just knew it was the perfect spot to pop the question. I had brought a tripod to capture the moment and record it for posterity (and Instagram, hey, I’m sentimental like that 😊) Obviously, I was nervous as we hiked, my heart racing with anticipation of what was to come.
When we arrived, I set up the tripod on a nearby tree and got everything ready. I checked and double-checked that the camera was positioned correctly, and the lighting was just right.
As Meghan took in the breathtaking view, I took a deep breath, strutted down to the waterfall and dropped to one knee. But then, to my surprise, the words didn’t come out. I was so nervous that I stumbled over my words and babbled on like a fool.
Meghan just looked at me with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes. She knew what I was trying to say, and she didn’t need me to be perfect. After what felt like an eternity, I finally managed to ask her the question that had been burning in my heart for so long: “Yeah, umm, so I have a question I’d like to ask you, hey, Meghan, will you marry me?” OMG – What. A. Numpty!!!
Thankfully, she said yes! It was the most romantic moment of our lives, and I was so relieved that everything had gone smoothly. We spent the rest of the day basking in the glow of our love, taking in the beautiful scenery around us – absolute bliss!!
The Proposal contd.
After we took in the moment a little longer, we swam under the waterfall and just generally kicked around for an hour or so before making our way to the Ferry terminal.
As we wandered through, I couldn’t help but think about how lucky I was to have found someone as amazing as Meghan. She is the perfect partner, and I know we are meant to spend the rest of our lives together – I am certainly ‘punching’ as the kids say these days.
Looking back on that day, I’m so grateful for the memories we created together. The Southern Rockhole will always hold a special place in our hearts, and I’m thrilled that we’ll be able to relive that moment over and over again thanks to the video I captured on my trusty tripod.
Ferry back to the Visitor Centre & Dinner at Cicada Lodge RestaurantThe ride is about 20 minutes and it was another spectacular way to take in the scenery from a different perspective. The boat ride offered a refreshing break from the hiking and allowed us to relax and soak in the stunning surroundings. We booked a table at the Cicada Lodge Restaurant for the special night. The food was divine, and the views were even better. Nestled atop a hill, the restaurant offers stunning panoramic views of Nitmiluk Gorge and the surrounding landscape. It was the perfect way to cap off an unforgettable trip.
The next day – The Walk to Edith Falls (Leliyn Falls)
Okay, so the next day, we hit up the hike to Edith Falls (also known as Leliyn Falls). Let me tell you; it’s an absolute stunner. The hike is around 2.6 kilometres long, but don’t worry; it’s a breeze! We tackled it in about an hour and a half, taking our sweet time to soak up the picturesque scenery along the way. Think stunning rock formations, lush tropical forests, and sparkling waterholes – it’s like something out of a dream. And once you get to the falls, you’ll feel like you’ve hit the jackpot. The water is so clear and refreshing; you’ll want to dive straight in to cool off from the walk. Seriously, this is an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. Trust me!
Hints & Tips
If you’re planning a trip to Nitmiluk National Park, my top tips would be to arrive early for hikes, pack plenty of water and snacks, and don’t be afraid to take your time and soak in the scenery. Plus, be sure to pack your sense of adventure and a willingness to explore all these stunning park offers.
With its rugged landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and stunning wildlife, Nitmiluk National Park is truly a treasure of the Northern Territory. So, grab your hiking shoes and camera, and let’s explore!
If you’re looking for a romantic and unique engagement spot, you can’t go wrong with Southern Rockhole in Nitmiluk National Park. Its stunning scenery and serene atmosphere make it the perfect place to pop the question.
Get your daily fix of Northern Territory beauty courtesy of Norther® by following @nitmiluknationalpark and @northerhq. You can also check out more Northern Territory content by following Norther. Please sign up here to join our newsletter list to be the first to get travel hints and local recommendations.