Many, many people we have met have told us about how great Edith Falls is, which is on the western side of Nitmiluk National Park so we think we should check it out. The park manager, I think it was Iris, is a great help and explains where we should go walking and swimming, even the best spot to get into the water without slipping on rocks.
After setting up our van we head to the upper falls to make the decision if we will walk the 8.6km return trek into Sweetwater Pool. The whole walk would then be just over 11km, which isn’t too bad, its a nice day so our decision made and off we go. The track is well used, shaded and initially the signs are easy to follow. We actually think we are going at a reasonable speed until we reach the Long Hole Pool, 2.3km in, and find we still have 2km to go.
Our debate continues on – do we have enough time and energy. It’s a really nice spot here and it is taking longer than I thought plus the trail markers are difficult to find so I am definitely inclined to stay put. Good ol’ Shane spots the next marker so off we go, now, quite determined to get to the end. There are creeks to transverse, a rocky path and it feels like it is getting hotter, in some places the trail signs are very difficult to find with arrows wedged into rocks or hidden by an overgrown tree but, finally, we do reach the Sweetwater Pools – it’s huge. I’m looking at this very big, expanse of very blue water surrounded by bush with not another soul in sight. It feels very isolated, which should be a good thing, secluded, beautiful but it is also daunting, scary even. I’m so hot I just want to jump in but it’s so deep, the water is so clear but you can still only see green, deep water beyond the rocky shelf, into unknown depths. I do go in, get wet and quickly out again – could there be crocs in the water, it just plays with my mind and I think maybe there could be.
We start the trek back and we are much quicker on the return trip, we know when to stride out along the easier parts and when to take it easy with the rockier sections. It is so good to reach the upper section of the falls and there are a few people enjoying the pools amongst the rocks but its not overcrowded, just nice. It is a great feeling to plunge into one of the pools, let the water soothe the tired muscles, swim against the stronger currents in the shallow waters, relaxing in the bigger pools, floating. Makes the walk all worth it. I feel myself let go; lying back in the water, watching the tumbling falls cascading over the sandstone rocks.
It is a good feeling to get back to the campsite and after a little rest I head back to the bottom pool, which is closed for swimming at the moment, and enjoy the sun setting, watching the cliffs change colour with the peaceful soundtrack of the waterfall mingled with birds settling down for the night playing in the background.