Elsey National Park

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

There is Aboriginal and World War II history, fishing 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 (2.7 mb).

Elsey National Park - Bitter Springs Elsey National Park - Bitter Springs


Phone: (08) 8975 4560

Park sites Access Comments Forecast opening
Elsey National Park Open NA
Park access
Martins Road - Elsey National ParkOpen NA
Homestead Road Open NA
John Hauser Drive Open NA
Bitter Springs (via Martins Road)
Swimming       OpenOnly swim in permitted areas.NA
Loop walkOpen NA
Mataranka Thermal Pool and Rainbow Spring Thermal Pool (via Homestead Road)
Swimming in Mataranka Thermal PoolOpenOnly swim in permitted areasNA
Riverside walk to Stevie's Hole OpenNo swimming permittedNA
Stevie's Hole (via Thermal Pool)
Walking TracksOpen NA
Botanic Walk (via John Hauser Drive)
Loop walk Open NA
Riverside Walk Open NA
4 Mile (via John Hauser Drive)
Boat ramp OpenPlease Be CrocwiseNA
Riverside walk to 4 Mile Open NA
Wabalarr (via John Hauser Drive)
Riverside walk 4 Mile to Wabalarr Open NA
Mulurark (via John Hauser Drive)
Riverside walk Wabalarr to Mulurark Open NA
Jalmurark (via John Hauser Drive)/12 Mile
Campground Open NA
Boat ramp OpenPlease Be CrocwiseNA
Riverside walk Mulurark to Jalmurark/ 12 Mile Open NA
Korowan–Mataranka Falls (via John Hauser Drive)
Riverside walk 12 Mile Yards to Mataranka Falls OpenPlease Be CrocwiseNA

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

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.

What to see and do

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

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

Get the Elsey National Park common fish of the Roper River information sheet (1.5 mb).

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

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

Camping fees apply and are payable on-site.

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.

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.

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

  • observe park safety 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.

Phone: 08 8975 4560

Last updated: 07 March 2019


Was this page useful?

Describe your experience

More feedback options

To provide comments or suggestions about the NT.GOV.AU website, complete our feedback form.

For all other feedback or enquiries, you must contact the relevant government agency.