Onward from Daly Waters, another beautiful day in paradise after this mornings fright of Levi being attacked by the biggest grasshopper in history. We set off around mid morning and the Pub serves breakfast and good coffee. We heading north towards Mataranka. This place is amazing, if you’ve driven through town and and missed the sign for the springs you’ll be kicking yourself. Mataranka has the most amazing hot springs springs I’ve seen. Firstly you could go to the Mataranka Homestead where they have a pub and camping, and have plenty of parking. The springs are only a short distance walk down a track, if you’re lucky enough to be there when it is quiet, it is lovely and peaceful, but every time we have been there, its crowded. Next you could go through through town and on the right is a sign with Bitter Springs on it. Again can be crowded, but probably the most beautiful of the two. It has a large step down ‘pool’ area, then due to the springs coming rising at one end there is a weak flow down stream, take your noodle or tube, and float down the stream around 200m and walk back up. The water is amazingly clear, so take your googles to have a look around around. We had lunch here, and expect to stay for at least an hour.
We drove through to Katherine, it is a large town that has most amenities. Plenty of specialist shops like butchers and bakers. This is the next big town from Darwin, So stocking up here is a must if you’re heading to Jabiru. Just out form Katherine is the famous Katherine Gorge, w spent a night out here, but due to the cost of going on cruises as a family of 5 it was going to cost a lot. We hadn’t budgeted it into our trip and passed on the cruise, but the camp ground was lovely, and the night we were there the local rangers came and did a talk about the area. We plan on coming back here on our big lap so will have it factored in then.
An hour drive north of Katherine is the Edith falls. This is another sensational area that has beautiful camp sites (first in best dressed) and picnic area. Definitely worth the drive in.
We pushed on and came across the Cutta Cutta caves, they run tours nearly every hour from 0900-1500 and use cash only. It’s amazing to imagine that this cave system was only found because a farmer kept losing his cattle, When he went looking around the vast area he found this small opening, with brush and bushes around it. It was then cleared out to expose the opening and now have the cave system. It was then later protected to save it from being destroyed, and access is only available via NT Parks and Wildlife.
We stayed a night at Pine Creek which is a old gold mining town, there is plenty of rich history there so dropping in and having a look around is worth it. Although the drive from Daly Waters to Jabiru is very easily done in one day, It is worth spending the day exploring in all the great spots I’ve mentioned above in between.