Mataranka Hot Springs is located in Australia’s Northern Territory and serves as a great place to relax while taking in the breathtaking scenery. This destination is unique for the presence of both Mataranka Thermal Pool and Bitter Springs.
Both springs are located in Elsey National Park, which also offers camping, fishing hiking. The springs are a short drive apart. The Metaranka Thermal Pool offers a campground and lodging on-site, while the Bitter Springs does not. Though the latter is far more secluded for that reason.
Mataranka Thermal Pool
The paperbark, palm-lined pool of the Mataranka Thermal Springs is an excellent place for a soak. It’s very warm and open year-round. Swimming is the main draw here, but there’s also camping and lodging on-site. There are some nice nearby nature trails too, such as Riverside Walk or Stevie’s Hole.
Jalmurark Campground is located within the Elsey National Park closer to Mataranka Thermal Springs. It serves boon-docking car campers and caravans. This 2WD-friendly campground has space for RVs and travel trailers. There are no electric hookups, and you boil all water before consuming.
There are toilets and showers on-site. BBQs are available too. Everything is pack-in, pack-out, as there is no trash service. Firewood should be sought along the main roadsides. Stay at least 50 meters from water when using soaps. Pets, generators, and fireworks are NOT permitted in the park.
Mataranka Homestead Campground, Motel, Cabins
Just steps from the Mataranka Thermal Pool is the historic Mataranka Homestead since 1912. They offer both a campground and a motel on-site.
Camping: All camping is first-come, first-serve, but rest assured, there is plenty of space. Both powered and unpowered campsites are provided for reasonable fees.
Motel Rooms: Choose from 1 double bed, 2 single beds, or 1 double + 1 single bed. Amenities include a refrigerator, tea kettle, TV, air-conditioning, and en-suite. A quick trek to all the facilities including a restaurant and thermal springs.
Cabins: The 4-person max cabins are completely self-contained, so they come with a kitchenette, TV, and air-conditioning. They are each equipped with balconies. 4x cabins do not have cooking facilities.
Dining: Stop by Jeannies Restaurant and Meluka Bar for delicious food and ice-cold drinks.
Despite the name, the mineral water here is very warm as well year-round. 30.5 million liters per day of which the springs rise from underground. The naturally heated thermal water is remarkably clear, offering a tranquil experience.
Also located within Elsey National Park, The Bitter Springs are a part of Miriwoong County, meaning that the local aboriginal tribe owns them. When you visit this area, it is important to respect their culture and ensure that you have permission before entering certain areas of this land. This oasis in the desert provides a relaxing and refreshing experience for travelers who want to enjoy the iconic Australian landscape.
History of Mataranka, Australia
Mataranka is a small town in the Northern Territory of Australia. It lies over 400 km southeast of Darwin and is surrounded by a farming community that mainly grows sugar cane. Although not large, it does have a couple of things worth mentioning: the hot springs and the RAAF Base.
The hot springs are an important part of the local community, where residents avoid using water from above-ground tanks due to the possible presence of harmful impurities lurking there instead of purified water. The hot springs provide clean water for residents and tourists alike, coming straight out of the rock and flowing into rivers used by local farms.
The springs boil from deep within the earth and produce a warm pool of water. These springs were created by an ancient volcano, which has since become extinct.
The volcanic eruptions spewed out so much magma and ash that they formed a dam on top of older rocks containing water. Magma continued to seep through cracks in the rocks and did not stop until it reached the water. At this point, the magma cooled and formed volcanic rock (lava). Over time, erosion of this lava created a dam that blocked the water behind it.
The shape of this enclosure has guided water into the deepest depths, where it is heated by hot rocks below before bubbling back to the surface. The water is at a constant temperature of 34 degrees Celsius, making it the perfect place to relax after a long day of hiking around Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
The hot springs are located in the heart of the Northern Territory, just off the Stuart Highway. It takes at least 4 hours to travel there from Darwin.
From Darwin – To get there, you should take the Stuart Highway (highway number 1) towards Katherine for about 400 kilometers. Once you reach the town of Katherine, turn left onto highway number 85 (still the Stuart Highway). Follow the road for about 20 kilometers. The turn-off to Mataranka is just before the bridge over the Katherine River, which you will see on your left.
Mataranka can also be approached from Pine Creek via Daly Waters and Katherine Gorge. This journey takes about 3 hours from Pine Creek or Katherine.
Mataranka Hot Springs, Australia, is a great place to visit if you want to get out of the city and relax in nature. The hot springs are surrounded by trees and grassy hills, making it an excellent hiking spot.
There are also tons of activities nearby, from horseback riding to nearby Elsey National Park Walks and the Never Never Museum. The area around Mataranka Hot Spring is known for consistent weather patterns with very little rainfall, making it popular for overlanding and rock crawls.
Address: 642 Homestead Rd, Mataranka NT, Australia
Phone: +61 1300 661 225