Bitter Springs Thermal Pools

The beautiful Roper River is born just a short walk from Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping. While the Roper has its Wet Season source some 50 kilometres to the north, numerous subterranean springs around Mataranka pour more than 30 million litres of warm water into the Roper each day. This outpouring from the aquifer starts around Bitter Springs and flows into the Little Roper River which links a series of pools all the way to Rainbow Springs and the Mataranka Thermal Pool. It is this fresh water that keeps the clear blue Roper running throughout  the year.

Bitter Springs is part of Elsey National Park and is Mataranka's newest thermal pool. It has a day use  area with barbecues, tables and eco-friendly toilets. A walking path loops around the area, winding under fan palms (Livistona rigida), past the swimming pools and through the pristine riparian ecology of the Roper River.

To the right the fan palms can be seen from a fish's point of view, up through the clear waters of Bitter Springs Thermal Pools.

If you are not the adventurous type then there is stairway entrance to the main pool where you can just loll about soaking up the effects of the luxuriant 32 degrees Celsius spring water.

There is another way to experience Bitter Springs. Wade into the warm waters of the Spring and drift with the flow down along the stream that connects the two swimming areas and on to the exit ladder at the pedestrian bridge on the walkway that circles the Spring area. This Aquatrail (a typical underwater view on right) drifts a couple of hundred metres down through the Springs. The water is incredibly clear, with an underwater mask, freshwater turtles are often seen swimming amongst the reed beds. At the end of the gentle drift, a ladder lets the adventurer climb out onto the Bitter Springs walking path and return to the main pool for another go round. Swimming back up against the current is not recommended.

Guests of Bitter Springs Cabins and Camping can hire foam noodles (floatation devices) that make drifting around the main pool or the trip downstream even more enjoyable. Masks and snorkels are also available to hire at Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping.

Visit Elsey National Park Website. Download a copy of Factsheet with good map of Park.

To check availability at Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping, click on the Book Now button and enter the date(s) and type of accommodation required.

Bitter Springs Thermal Pools have long been a well kept secret of Mataranka residents, but now they are open to all and are just a short walk from Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping!

Swimmers at Bitter Springs Mataranka Snorkelling the channel at Bitter Springs