The Thermal Pools are the main attractions in Mataranka, with two different ones to choose from they are both situated in the Elsey National Park and surrounded by Pandanus and Cabbage Palms. They have lovely clear water and are about 34 degrees celsius.
The Bitter Springs at the end of Martins Road is a natural stream with pools and is surrounded by native vegetation. It has stairs and ladders for easy access, and a great walk right around it. If you have snorkel and mask take them along you may see turtles and fish. A floatation device also makes for a relaxing pleasant soak as it is quite deep. The stream goes for about 60 metres and its nice to float down then swim back against the current for some exercise, though the lazier can just climb out at the end and walk back to the beginning!
Rainbow Springs and Mataranka Thermal Pool is more like a swimming pool with the edges concreted, and paving, steps and ladders to access the water. You can wander the boardwalk down to the Waterhouse River, where you might be lucky enough to see a fresh water crocodile, turtles and fish. The fresh water crocodile is not interested in human consumption, but can inflict a nasty bite if you try to tangle with it. The salt water crocodile doesn't inhabit the thermal springs as they dont like the clear warm water. There are some nice walks along the river from here.
Known as Never Never Country it was made famous by the novel by Jeanie Gunn about her life in this area in the early 1900's. You can view the replica Elsey Homestead hut at the Mataranka Springs, and the old buggy from the movie is our buffet bench in our restaurant. The We of the Never Never movie screens daily 12pm at the Mataranka Homestead, and you can visit the characters from the book at the Old Elsey Cemetry about 21 km south of town.
Another beautiful walk meanders along the banks of the Roper River down to the Mataranka Falls, its a moderate 8km return walk thats starts from 12 mile Yards at the end of John Hauser Drive. Dont forget your hat and a drink, and a camera to capture the abundant wildlife and gorgeous scenery.
A wander through town; the Gem Shop is the spot to find a special gift, United Fuel Roadhouse for a famous Mataranka Pie - bring your appetite cos' they're huge! Mataranka Store has a fabulous range of souvenirs, camping supplies, clothes and shoes. Have a coldie at the historical Mataranka Hotel and visit the Stockyard Gallery with aboriginal art and craft, books and refreshments. Learn about Matarankas history at the museum.
In the township of Mataranka there is also a Post Office, Library, Supermarket, Bottleshop, a few Roadhouses / Fuel , Police Station, a Primary School, National Parks Office, a Car Mechanic and a Health Clinic .
The best time to come weather wise is our Dry Season- April to Sept when the temperature gauge hovers around 30 degrees celsius, but it is also the busiest and bookings are highly recommended. The Wet Season - Dec to March provides some amazing scenery but it makes it difficult or impossible to get to many attractions. October to December is our "build up" and its generally pretty hot and dry - 38 degrees Celsius plus.
The Territory - Remember if you Never Never Go you will Never Never know.