A friend told us Mataranka was a place in the Northern Territory that you simply must visit. And after coming here, we couldn’t agree more.
Famous as being home to the story of We of the Never Never, written by Jeanie Gunn who was the first white women to call this place home when she came here with her husband in 1902. He died a year later, but she wrote a book that captured the imagination of a nation. It was even turned into a movie.
Visiting the Mataranka Thermal Pool
It’s a flat, hot drive in. And then all of a sudden, Mataranka appears, filled with thermal springs and lush green trees. Just like an oasis.
We headed straight to “Bitter Springs”, Mataranka Thermal Pool, where the water is 32 degrees! These natural thermal springs feed more than 30 million litres of water into the nearby Roper River each day and are one of the main attractions in this outback town. I was a little hesitant on the way in, concerned about crocodiles, but everyone kept assuring me there were none here. “Well, if there are other people in there, then I am in. If not, then I am not so sure”, I thought to myself.
Sure enough, as soon as we arrive, you could hear laughter coming from the watering hole. You walk down the path and there’s a gathering of travellers from all over the world swimming without a care. You let the current take you down the river and everyone from 18 months to 90 years old is here, with their goggles, noodles and floaties. Everyone is enjoying the therapeutic warmth and freshness of the water.
We swam in the water till the sun went down and even saw a turtle! It was like a warm bath from the gods.
If you come to the Northern Territory, you simply must come to Mataranka!
Tell us about your hot springs experiences in the comments below!