Made famous by the epic We of the Never Never, Mataranka conjures up the idea of a place that’s impossibly distant and of the extreme outback – and yet quite lush. Its celebrated thermal springs make it an oasis in the middle of the desert. The pools are crystal clear and surrounded by the rich forests of Elsey National Park, which hide several botanic bushwalks that are sure to impress the most experienced – even cocky – trail walker (great for beginners and kids).
“A place that opened our eyes to life in the outback. After spending a day filming at the local school and swimming in the stunning bitter springs, nothing went down better than Australia’s best, Mataranka’s famous pies.” – MyPOWER Team
With a population of just 250, one of the town’s most interesting and well-known spectacles is its live barramundi feedings, and its Stockyard gallery is worth a look for its showcase of great sculptures, local art and – for the nanna at heart – great tea and even better scones.
It’s a fantastic place to relax and unwind, perhaps before kicking back with a few quiet beverages for dinner at The Homestead (a 1982 replica of the famous structure from the Never Never film and book) without copious amounts of other tourists breathing down your neck.
As the capital of the Never Never, Mataranka is impossible to overlook.
Where? // 420km (5hrs) southeast of Darwin along the Stuart Hwy.
Did you know? // Mataranka’s famous thermal pools were created by 1500 soldiers stationed there during WWII.
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