Day 5 saw us driving from our camp spot at Renner Springs up to Nitmiluk National Park – Katherine Gorge – around 556km!
The first leg of the drive was to see the tourist stop of Daly Waters Pub. It was only 10AM but we stopped and had a beer and had a look at all the keepsakes that people had left at the pub – licences, ID card, bras, shirts, hats! It seems the tourist thing to do at N.T pubs….
We arrived at Mataranka around lunch time, made a sandwich in the van, and then went to the Thermal Pools. To get to the Pools you walk through the home of many flying foxes (bats). There’s giant sprinklers going regularly up into the canopy to try and keep them under control, but it all just adds to the experience.
The colour and clarity of the thermal pools is breathtaking and we did go in for a swim. There was a group of people who had a go-pro taking lots of film and photos underwater, and it made me regret not bringing a waterproof camera!
The water was definitely warm, but maybe as we were in a warmer climate anyway I did not notice it as much as other thermal/hot springs I have visited.
Definitely add Mataranka to your list to visit! After our refreshing stop at Mataranka, Katherine would be our next destination, to refuel and then keep on going to Nitmiluk National Park – one of my highlights of our trip!
As you can see from the below image, fuel was a MUCH better price in Katherine!
The Nitmiluk Campground is walkable distance to the launch for the boat rides and canoeing, and is a wonderfully set up space. It has a large pool, bar and good facilities in the campground and a visitors centre with a cafe and viewing deck over the river not far away. We payed $22 per person, per night for a powered camp spot for our van.
There are many local wallabies just hopping around the area, very cute and not bothered by the human presence!
We went to catch the sunset down by the river before ending the day by the pool with a drink!