Having visited Gemtree the previous night, I was ready to wash the red dust off and cool down. Little did I know what was waiting for me up the road! I had been reading reviews on the Wikicamps site and listening to people share their experiences up at a place in the Elsey National Park called ‘Mataranka’, the place of the Never Never.
My accommodation throughout my adventure has been rated at a billion stars…camping in my trusty yellow tent. I normally book at campgrounds but a sign along the road caught my eye. It read ‘Little Roper Stockcamp – Open’. Boy, what a twist of fate. I had the best camping spot, under a palm and nicely shaded throughout the day. When the day turned to dusk, I could smell campfire smoke and hear a guitar. Attracted like a moth, I walked over and immediately fell into conversation with fellow travellers.
In the morning, I got up before the birds to get to Bitter Springs for the sunrise. Wow. I met Agile Wallabies along the way and could hear them exploring amongst the palm fronds on the other side of the spring. As I put my feet in the water, the warmth was amazing. And to think it’s the actual temperature of the groundwater up here in the Northern Territory! I went back to camp to have my breakfast and then returned three separate times that day. The afternoon sun lit the water and palms up to an almost unreal colour. I had to convince my friends and family that it really WAS that colour!
The following morning, I was invited back around the fire to partake in billy tea and Jonny Cakes. A mix between a doughnut and scone….washed down with a strong cuppa, surrounded by fellow travellers. A memory that will be with me on the road for a long time to come.
If you ever have the chance to go to Bitter Springs, do not hesitate. It’s like an oasis in the middle of nowhere…I could certainly relate to those of the Never Never.
I have been travelling since January, having started my journey from my hometown of Gabbadah in Western Australia. I’ve seen some pretty amazing places which have only deepened my love and awe of the country I am so lucky to call home.I am on long service leave (I’m a teacher) and grabbed the opportunity to pick up my camera and pack my car to travel and doubled my time by opting for half pay. Winning on all fronts!
I’m back on the road now, travelling the top end, eventually crossing back into my home state and down the coast. What a country we have to call home.