Elsey National Park

Heat warning

Temperatures across the Northern Territory can be very hot between October and March.

It can exceed 40 degrees celsius in some locations. High humidity in the Top End can also make you tire easily.

Check forecast temperatures before you visit. Find out how to prepare and stay safe in the heat.

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 PDF (1.1 MB).

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


Phone: 08 8975 4560

Park sitesAccessComments Forecast opening
Elsey National Park Open -
Park access
Martins Road - Elsey National Park Open -
Homestead Road Open -
John Hauser Drive OpenMulurark, Wabalarr, Sheep dip and Aboriginal army camp day use areas are open.-
Bitter Springs (via Martins Road)
Swimming       Open -
Loop walk Open -
Mataranka Thermal Pool (via Homestead Road)
Swimming in Mataranka Thermal Pool Open -
Riverside walk to Stevie's Hole Open -
Riverside walk - Stevie's Hole to Mataranka Falls Open -
Stevie's Hole (via Thermal Pool)
Walking tracks Open -
Botanic Walk (via John Hauser Drive)
Loop walk Open -
Riverside Walk Open -
4 Mile (via John Hauser Drive)
Day use areaOpen -
Boat ramp OpenBe Crocwise.-
Riverside walk to 4 Mile Open -
Wabalarr (via John Hauser Drive)
Riverside walk 4 Mile to Wabalarr Open -
Mulurark (via John Hauser Drive)
Riverside walk Wabalarr to Mulurark Open -
Jalmurark (via John Hauser Drive)/12 Mile
Campground Open -
Boat ramp OpenBe Crocwise.-
Riverside walk Mulurark to Jalmurark/ 12 Mile Open -
Korowan–Mataranka Falls (via John Hauser Drive)
Korowan (Mataranka) Falls Closed Closed for seasonal weather conditions. Anticipated re-opening June 2021, dependant on weather.
Riverside walk 12 Mile Yards to Mataranka Falls Closed -

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.

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 PDF (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:

  • 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:

  • a permit is required for drone use - conditions apply and it must be obtained prior to your arrival in the park.
  • bins are not provided, please take your rubbish with you.
  • camping fees apply - cash only - no change available on site
  • 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
  • use interactive maps on your mobile phone or tablet
  • avoid strenuous activity in the heat of the day.

Phone: 08 8975 4560

Last updated: 30 March 2021

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