Journey to the red centre
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.