Northern Territory, Australia

Mataranka revisited

For the weekend we went to Mataranka again. This was our third time, but this time there were three of us. Tash was the third wheel. We camped at the Jalmurark Campgrounds in Elsey National Park. These are really good campgrounds with first class facilities. However the caretakers have left for the wet season and the site looks completely different to when we were there last. The grass is overgrown, the toilet blocks are full of leaves and spiders, there’s plant debris strewn across the camp sites and access road, and we were the only people in the whole camping area! Last time we were there it was pristine and every camp site was taken. Now it’s eerily quiet and looks like it has been completely abandoned. This is normal – the grounds will be brought up to scratch again with the start of the next dry season and the onset of the grey nomads travelling through.

We visited Bitter Springs and Mataranka Springs and hung out at the Mataranka Pub during the day before heading off to camp to enjoy some relaxation around the campfire and a first class camp oven cookup by Sharni. It was stupidly hot. Almost unbearable – you can understand why the grey nomads are nowhere to be seen during the build up and wet season. A swim in the springs was necessary just to survive, along with a few cold drinks. At the campgrounds we braved the spiders in the shower cubical to stand under some cold water to cool off.

We enjoyed the short camping trip despite the heat. Swimming, camping and relaxing is almost impossible not to enjoy. Now back to Katherine so the girls can get back to work and bring home the bacon. Only 4 weeks until we leave Katherine!

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