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

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Phone: 08 8975 4560

Park sitesAccessComments Forecast opening
Elsey National Park ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.Anticipated re-opening Friday 21st January, pending weather conditions.
Park access
Martins Road - Elsey National Park ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.Anticipated re-opening Wednesday 19 January, pending weather conditions.
Homestead Road Open  
John Hauser Drive ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.Anticipated re-opening Friday 21st January, pending weather conditions.
Bitter Springs (via Martins Road)
Swimming       ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.-
Loop walk ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.-
Mataranka Thermal Pool (via Homestead Road)
Swimming in Mataranka Thermal Pool ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.-
Riverside walk to Stevie's Hole ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.-
Riverside walk - Stevie's Hole to Mataranka Falls ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.-
Stevie's Hole (via Thermal Pool)
Walking tracks ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.Anticipated re-opening April 2022, dependent on weather conditions.
Botanic Walk (via John Hauser Drive)
Loop walk ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.Anticipated re-opening April 2022, dependent on weather conditions.
Riverside Walk ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.Anticipated re-opening April 2022, dependent on weather conditions.
4 Mile (via John Hauser Drive)
Day use areaClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.Anticipated re-opening Wednesday 28th January, pending weather conditions.
Boat ramp ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park. Be Crocwise.Anticipated re-opening Wednesday 28th January, pending weather conditions.
Riverside walk to 4 Mile ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.Anticipated re-opening April 2022, dependent on weather conditions.
Wabalarr (via John Hauser Drive)
Riverside walk 4 Mile to Wabalarr ClosedClosed due to seasonal weather conditions.Anticipated re-opening April 2022, dependent on weather conditions.
Mulurark (via John Hauser Drive)
Riverside walk Wabalarr to Mulurark ClosedClosed due to seasonal weather conditions.Anticipated re-opening April 2022, dependent on weather conditions.
Jalmurark (via John Hauser Drive)/12 Mile
Campground ClosedClosed due to seasonal weather conditions.Anticipated re-opening April 2022, dependent on weather conditions.
Boat ramp ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park. Be Crocwise.Anticipated re-opening Wednesday 28th January, pending weather conditions.
Riverside walk Mulurark to Jalmurark/ 12 Mile ClosedClosed due to seasonal weather conditions.Anticipated re-opening April 2022, dependent on weather conditions.
Korowan–Mataranka Falls (via John Hauser Drive)
Korowan (Mataranka) Falls Closed Closed for seasonal weather conditions. Anticipated re-opening June 2022, dependent on weather.
Riverside walk 12 Mile Yards to Mataranka Falls ClosedClosed due to flooding and damage to areas within the park.Anticipated re-opening April 2022, dependent on weather conditions.

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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