Elsey National Park

This 13,800 hectare park was made famous in Jeannie Gunn's popular novel 'We of the Never Never'. 

There are peaceful swimming spots, Aboriginal and World War II history, fishing and riverine canoeing and boating.

You could easily stay a few days and find it hard to leave the natural beauty of Bitter Springs, which is in the northern end of the park. 

A 500m waterway is fed by an underground spring that gently flows down a watercourse lined with cabbage palms. 

Mataranka Thermal Pool is another favourite and known for its warm springs, which are around 30°C and pump out 30.5 megalitres of water each day.

Get the Elsey National Park fact sheet and map (676.7 kb)

Elsey National Park - Bitter Springs Elsey National Park - Bitter Springs Elsey National Park - Riverine canoeing

What to see and do

You can do all of the following activities at Elsey National Park:

  • canoeing
  • swimming
  • camping
  • boating
  • bushwalking
  • fishing
  • view historical sites.

Camping

Non-powered campsites are available at Jalmurark campground. Generators aren't allowed.

You can also camp at privately run campgrounds near the park.

Swimming

The springs in the park are excellent for swimming. 

There are facilities at Bitter Springs and the Thermal Pool. 

Swim only where recommended and watch out for warning signs. 

Don't swim in the Wet Season due to dangerous currents and the increased risk of saltwater crocodiles.

How to get there

Elsey National Park is at Mataranka, 106km south of Katherine. 

From the Stuart Highway take Martin Road to go to Bitter Springs, Homestead Road to visit the Mataranka Thermal Pools or John Hauser Drive, off Homestead Road, for all other sites in the park.

Check if this park is open

Find out if the Elsey National Park is open.

Opening hours

All year round, but roads may close during the Wet Season due to flooding.

Contact

Phone: (08) 8975 4560

Facilities

Elsey National Park has all of the following facilities:

  • cafe
  • public toilets
  • information signs
  • ranger station
  • fire pits
  • drinking water
  • picnic area
  • caravans
  • accommodation
  • showers
  • walking tracks
  • scenic lookout
  • historical ruins.

Please remember

When visiting the park, remember all of the following:

  • put your rubbish in the bin or take it with you
  • stay on designated tracks and roads
  • cultural items and wildlife are protected
  • pets are not permitted
  • nets, traps and firearms are not permitted
  • be careful with fire and light fires on in fireplaces provided
  • camp only in camping areas
  • collect firewood before you arrive at your picnic or campground
  • generators are not permitted in the campground
  • follow all fishing laws
  • check your vehicle is not transporting pests like weeds.

Safety

You can have a safe and comfortable trip to Elsey National Park by doing all of the following:

  • observe park safety signs
  • swim only where recommended and watch for warning signs
  • carry and drink plenty of water
  • wear a hat, suitable clothing and footwear, sunscreen and insect repellent
  • carry a first aid kit
  • avoid strenuous activity in the heat of the day.

Last updated: 29 February 2016