When you think of the Top End, you probably think of beaches, sunsets, wildlife, the wetlands and waterfalls of Kakadu and long dusty roads. However, one thing you may not expect to find is the natural Hot Springs of Tjuwaliyn and Mataranka.
The Tjuwaliyn thermal springs, otherwise known as the Douglas hot springs are a big drawcard for the region. Experience the therapeutic natural thermal hot springs treatment or head up or downstream for cooler pools.
Picture utterly natural crystal clear, sandy-bottomed creeks overhung with palms and pandanus. A rejuvenating oasis secluded amidst the expanse of the Top End.
The park lies on the traditional lands of the Wagiman people and contains sacred sites. The Wagiman women care for portions of the park in concert with Parks and Wildlife, and some areas are off-limits for men, they also reserve the right to close the park to conduct ceremonies so check with the park office before travel on (08) 8976 0282 or visit the NT Government Parks and Reserves website HERE.
Swimming, bathing, camping and bushwalking are all on the cards. There are camping facilities including picnic areas, toilets, fire pits and barbecues.
To get there, travel 200km south along the Stuart Highway from Darwin then take the Dorat and then Oolloo roads. The last 7km is unsealed though caravans and trailers should be ok. Travel time is around 2.5 hours from Darwin.
Much less wild are the Thermal Pools at Mataranka, 100km south of Katherine. Clear turquoise water and pools for simply amazing swimming and bathing experiences. You can check out the Bitter Springs, pictured, or its big brother pool at Mataranka itself, nestled amongst shady Mataranka Palms and paperbark forest, the thermal pools bubble up through the sand and sooth travellers who take a dip.
Image Credit (Top): Bigstock