Perhaps one of Litchfield’s most impressive sights, the Magnetic Termite Mounds featuring hundreds of sand structures dotted along the grassy terrain.
From far away, these structures simply look like rock formations or perhaps uneven tombstones, but they are in fact, termite mounds, stretching up to over 2 metres high. They are some of the greatest natural creations found in all of Australia, showcasing the strength and beauty of the region’s wildlife.
These Termites are truly extraordinary creatures, known as nature’s best architects. They thrive in savannah woodland, found throughout the northern region of Australia. They survive completely on grass and can live for around 50 to 100 years, with the queen living for the entire life of the mound. In just one mound, there can be up to a million individual termites, each with a purpose and title, similar to an art colony.
The History of the Magnetic Termite Mounds
The Magnetic Termite Mounds are said to be around 100 years old, made decades ago but the termites for a permanent home. To create the mounds, the termites store grass stalks around the outer chambers of the mound, scavenging from underground and moving the residue on the ground. Building the mounds up with sand, salvia, and faeces. The salvia is used by a group of “soldier” termites, who create the transparent and sticky saliva to defend the mounds, as the sticky liquid traps any predators in the Termite Mounds vicinity who come too close. They built the mounds on a north-south axis, with thin edges pointing north to south, and the broad backs facing east to west. This minimises their exposure to the sun but increases their solar absorption, keeping the mounds a perfect temperature throughout the year. They are an incredibly unique natural wonder within the Litchfield National Park, nestled around 120 kilometres south of bustling Darwin.
What you can see there
Visitors can wander through the forest canopies and marvel at the bush terrain of the landscape. Heading to the open swathe of land dotted with these magnificent mounds. There are informational shelters close by to the termite mounds, detailing the fascinating facts about the creature’s daily lives, habitats, and history within Australia. Take a stroll through these natural skyscrapers and be amazed by the sheer strength these small bugs possess.