Mataranka Hot Springs, NT

A Top End national treasure. Pic:

The famous Mataranka Springs and lesser known Rainbow Springs are geothermal marvels protected by the Northern Territory’s Elsey National Park.

The park’s name conjures up romantic images of wide-open planes and real life outback. Surprisingly, it’s located just 115km to the east of Katherine and well within range of a weekend sojourn out of Darwin.

The park is one of the Territory’s must-see attractions and can be reached in an hour and a half from Katherine, or closer to five hours from the capital.

The prime season, weather wise, to visit the park is during the dry season between May and September. During the wet season the Roper River can flood, which can restrict access to some parts of the park.


4WDING is not a major feature of the park, although access roads within the park are unsealed and you don’t really go anywhere in this part of the world without a 4WD capable vehicle.

THE MATARANKA HOT SPRINGS are accessed via the Homestead Road turnoff and John Hauser Drive.

Millions of litres of super-heated spring water pour from the spring each day, contained in an all-natural, palm-fringed jacuzzi that maintains a constant water temperature of 34 degrees Celsius – truly one of nature’s little miracles.


LOCATION: Elsey National Park is located 115 east southeast of Katherine and is accessed via the Stuart Highway.

CAMPING is available within the park at the 12 Mile Yards campground. Facilities include hot showers and flushing toilets but powered sites are not available.

FUEL is available at Mataranka and Katherine.

MORE INFO is available at

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