Today was a big day heading South down the Stuart highway. We saw a lot of the country and were fortunate enough to only encounter a few road trains. The speed limit in the NT is 130km per hour, however with the van on, I try to stick on 100, to not annoy the truckies to much. We left Katherine just before lunch, had lunch on the side of the road in the middle of no where (the perks of caravanning). We headed in to the Nitmiluk national park, where we went for a beautiful swim at Edith falls. Edith falls consists of a large camp ground, shop, hiking tracks and a magnificent swimming hole. The whole family had a pleasant swim and pedicure from the little fish that nibble at your feet, however we were refreshed before we headed off to Daly waters. We continued South to what we thought was the Mataranka hot springs (it was Bitter springs). The bitter springs turn off is to the North of the Mataranka township and are a great alternative to the actual Mataranka springs. Bitter springs is still all natural bottoms and flows which allow for a pleasant 200m ride down stream on a pool noodle. There is also a caravan park very close to these springs and access with a caravan is easy. After an hour swim we moved to the South of the township and found the actual Mataranka springs. The whole area includes a pub, caravan park, scenic walks and the actual swimming water hole. We arrived to find the main water hole to be over crowded, however if you were staying at any of the local caravan parks at Mataranka, it would be foolish not to go there. Mataranka is a must do outback experience, however it did not live up to my expectations. We finally got into the Daly Waters camp ground just before dark, Daley waters is a dust bowl, with a pub full of local workers and more artefacts than the whole Northern hemisphere put together. We quickly set up camp, had dinner, than headed up to the pub for a couple of schooners of beer. The staff there were very accommodating for our two daughters and were a great source of information for local history. Daley waters was certainly dirty, but sometimes that’s good for everybody to get back to nature.
Edith Falls – 85/ 100
Bitter Springs – 70/ 100
Mataranka – 71/ 100
Daley Waters – 53 / 100
Tip – definite ground mats for your camp. Don’t let expectation determine your mood. Take the outback for what it is. Its harsh land with remarkable natural features and history.
Next stop King Ash Bay,Boorooloola