The Magnificent Cathedral Termite Mounds of Kakadu

The Cathedral termite mounds are one of Kakadu and Litchfield National Park’s most incredible sights. Throughout the forest and across the swathes of open landscape, these magnificent mounds stand up to two metres high, jutting skywards and showcasing an amazing feat of nature.

The structures around around 100 years old, and are unique to this part of Australia. In the national park, you can see hundreds of these mounds.

Making the Mounds

The mounds are made using a centuries-old technique by the termites. The outer chambers are created with cut up grass stalks that have been stored. As the forage from underground, the mounds push skywards. When this happens, the outer chambers are abandoned and filled instead with soil to create a stronger structure.

The soldier caste of termites defend the mound with a sticky saliva-type substance that traps intruders like ants and other critters. Each mound is thought to house one queen termite, who produces all the colony’s eggs.

As a general rule, the mounds live for around 50 to 100 years – the same amount of time the queen termite is alive. The mounds themselves are the perfect home for the termites, which require a balanced amount of warmth and humidity throughout the year.

Where to See the Cathedral Termite Mounds

You can see the mounds in the national park. Head about 17 kilometres in from the eastern boundary and you’ll find the first major group of mounds. Here, you can access a viewing area with boardwalks that take you around the collection of mounds. This is just of Litchfield Park Road to the north of the park and allows you to get up close to the mounds without disturbing them.

As you explore, you’ll learn more about these fascinating creatures and their homes, including the history of the mounds, how they’re made, and Termite Mound Litchfield National Park the natural behaviour of the termites.

Though Litchfield National Park is the go-to place to view both the Cathedral termite mounds and the Magnetic termite mounds, you can also see them in the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.

These fascinating creatures are right at home in this part of Australia, and prove to be a popular attraction for visitors. As well as exploring the magnificent scenery that surrounds the mounds, you can learn more about these incredible creatures and their naturally-made houses that jut metres up into the sky.

Explore the 3 Day Kakadu and Litchfield Tour.

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