Jour­ney to the red cen­tre

New Straits Times - - Jom! -

The Bit­ter Springs in Mataranka.

was named af­ter John McDouall Stu­art, the first Euro­pean who tra­versed Aus­tralia from south to north. Later, the Aus­tralian Over­land Tele­graph Line was con­structed along his trail-blaz­ing route, which the high­way ap­prox­i­mately fol­lowed.

Our ad­ven­ture starts when we pick up our mo­bile home — a Toy­ota HiAce van at the camper­van de­pot in the Dar­win sub­urb of Win­nel­lie.

The van has a dis­tinc­tive high roof and a kitch­enette with gas stove, mi­crowave, small fridge and all the uten­sils. From the de­pot, we head to a nearby su­per­mar­ket to stock up with food, in­clud­ing halal meat from Suhana Butcher, and wa­ter.

Our first desti­na­tion is the Big 4 Camper­van Park in Kather­ine where we will be putting up for the night. But be­fore that, we make a short ex­cur­sion to Pine Creek, a At Pine Creek, an­tique min­ing ma­chiner­ies are on dis­play at Miner Park. his­toric gold min­ing town founded in 1871. It was once a bustling out­back town of 200 Euro­peans and 400 Chi­nese work­ing in the gold mine.

At the Min­ers Park, we see some an­tique min­ing ma­chin­ery as well as in­ter­pre­tive dis­plays that give com­pres­sive pic­tures of life in the gold­fields and the his­tory of min­ing in the area.


The fol­low­ing day, we drive 100km to Mataranka, a town renowned for its eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble ther­mal springs, at the edge of the Elsey Na­tional Park.

We first visit the Bit­ter Springs. Its wa­ter is in­cred­i­bly clear and has a con­stant tem­per­a­ture of 32⁰C. One way to en­joy it is to get into the main pool and drift with the flow of the stream to the next spring pool. The Bit­ter Springs in Mataranka.

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