Thursday, 19 July 2012

Bitter Springs 15/7/12 to 19/7/12

We have just spent the most relaxing four days in Bitter Springs Mataranka NT.  It's almost like we have been on holidays.  Mataranka is known for its thermal springs, which are in the Elsey National Park.  We spent most of the time in Bitter Springs and the thermal pool in Mataranka.  They are both very different. Bitter Springs is a natural water way that meanders downstream about 150 metres.  You float down with the current with goggles on and explore under the water.  Very peaceful and tranquil.  It flows at a rate of 300 litres of water per second.  We only saw turtles as it’s too hot for anything else to live in there. Apparently it’s something to do with the oxygen levels in the water.  To be honest, if there wasn’t anyone else in the springs I might not have gotten in as it’s very murky on the sides and lots of slim and mosey weed. The middle is very clear though.

 Mataranka Thermal pool is very commercialised, they have concreted the side of the pool and it has a much sandier bottom.  There’s no floating down stream and there doesn’t seem to be much of a current. Still beautiful though.  Both spring and the pool water temp are a constant 33 degrees. Our days were spent in either or both of the springs/pools, lulling about.  It was nice not have to rush off and see this or do that.  It was all about the water.

On our first visit to Mataranka thermal pool there was an unexpected  and unwelcome visitor; a brown snake. Unfortunately one of the men bathing thought he was a new age Ram Chandra and was going to clear the snake from the area. However all he did was stir it up and eventually the snake dropped into the pool looking for a means of escape from his tormentor. I’ve never seen 30 grey nomads move with such speed.  For a brief second it appeared there would be a happy ending to the story. The snake charged across the pool and we thought it was going to attack its tormentor, but all it was doing was looking  for another way out of the pool.

On our second last day who should we see in the local shop but the Cutlers, who had just got into town.  So we spent our last day with them.  We all checked out the barra fish feeding. The boys had a good time as they got to feed them.  Then off to the springs and the thermal pool, finishing at the Mataranka Homestead for happy hour and a bush dance. 

One of the many termite hills that we saw on the way.  Apparently there are over 350 different species of termites in Australia with 100 species living in the Northern Territory. All of their mounds are different looking

The Big Termite Mound in Mataranka. Apparently they also make them out of concrete.

We could walk down to Bitter Springs from our camp site
In the water at Bitter Springs

Floating down the beautiful Bitter Springs

The tranquil Bitter Springs early in the morning

Mataranka thermal pools

The Brennans and the Cutlers in Mataranka thermal pool

Roper River where all the water from the thermal pools eventually goes into. You will also find fresh water crocs in here. You will NOT find the Brennans in here.

Nate feeding the barra

And Jacob

Looking up while in Mataranka Springs

While everything is expensive at Mataranka, our new sunnies were a bargain at $10 each. Apparently they are looking to move them on so they can get new stock in. And the 3 mm of dust on each pair was also free.

Happy hour at Mataranka Homestead

The kids Vicki and Sandi doing the Hokey Pokey

And, of course, the old favourite "Click Go the Shears"

1 comment:

  1. Hi all. Your photos are bringing back so many memories of our time at Mataranka and Katherine. You were braver than us on the gorge walks though. We went to one look out, but it was too hot to go much further. Aren't the thermal pools great and the barra feeding- the kids loved it. So where to next- are you going into Kakadu and Litchfield? We had a great time in Kakadu on the walks and gorge swimming. Don't go swimming at Cahills crossing- the croc population explodes on the turn of the tide at the crossing as the fish are pushed upstream- you can sit on the bank and watch them catch dinner and shake your head at the fishermen taking their chances as well. If you stay at the ubirr campsite drive down to the crossing at night and count the red eyes reflecting back at you.

    We are at Shark Bay. We have had a change of plans again. Leanne is doing much better, so we are staying and working here for a while until it warms up down south. The kids have started school as well to give them a break from me. Will skype you one arvo when the kids are home.

    Safe travels