Visit Mataranka Springs (BL33)
I put Mataranka Springs onto my bucket list from what I had heard about it. As I travelled and started talking to other travellers about places to “must see” etc, the consensus was that Bitter Springs was a better option than Mataranka Springs. Like a lot of things you sometimes just have to go there and judge for yourself.
I called at Bitter Springs first and booked in for a couple of nights at Bitter Springs Cabins and Camping ($25 per night including power). Choose your own site. Plenty of shade available. It is situated at the end of Martens Road, a 500metre walk to the Springs.
After 6 months on the road and thinking that life cannot get much betterer than this and then I find Bitter Springs. It is absolutely awesome. I am using that word “awesome” a lot lately but this is just that. 30 degree + water temperature, clinging to a pool noodle (a must have accessory) and just floating down the stream is very therapeutic. It was like heaven in the water!
Bitter Springs is situated at the northern end of the 13,800 hectare Elsey National Park. The waterway is fed by an underground spring that gently flows down a watercourse lined with palms.
Over the 2 days I was here I walked down to the springs several times and only left after my skin turned wrinkly (from water – not age).
I visited Mataranka Springs, situated inside the Mataranka Caravan Park site, at 8am on what was one of the coldest mornings I have experienced on my trip so far. The water was a similar temperature to Bitter Springs although felt hotter initially due to the cold air temperature. Mataranka Springs is more like a pool as it has concrete/stone surroundings and has a more “artificial” feel to it. Don’t get me wrong. Still worth experiencing, but Bitter is better.
The car park at Mataranka Springs/Caravan Park houses the replica Mataranka Homestead from the movie “We of the Never Never”. It was worth a look over.
I also attended the Mataranka Museum. This was a neat little museum that had some good displays. As I had never read the book “We of the Never Never” by Aeneas Gunn I purchased a copy from the Post Office/Resource Centre in Mataranka.