Why travellers are heading north to take a dip in the ‘healing’ waters of this sparkling blue natural thermal pool in the middle of a palm forest

  • Travellers flock to Mataranka Thermal Pools, NT
  • The pools are naturally 34-degrees
  •  It has vibrant blue waters and rumoured healing abilities

Travellers are flocking north to visit a vibrant blue ‘healing’ thermal pool in the middle of a rainforest. 

Mataranka Thermal Pool is one of two thermal springs in the Northern Territory’s  Elsey National Park, the other being the famous Bitter Springs.  

The series of breathtaking pools are near the small town of Mataranka, an hour south of Katherine, and have naturally warm waters of 34 degrees.

The fresh spring-water pools can be found at the end of a 500-metre walking track that winds through the bushland under towering palms trees. 

Thermal pools are thought to be deeply ‘healing’ as the purity and heavy mineral content in the water has been linked to reducing pain and inflammation, better circulation through dilated blood vessels, lymphatic drainage and a relaxed emotional state.

A stunning naturally heated thermal pool with strikingly blue waters is drawing in travellers from all over the country

A stunning naturally heated thermal pool with strikingly blue waters is drawing in travellers from all over the country

Mataranka thermal spring is one of two thermal pools in the Northern Territory's stunning in Elsey National Park

Mataranka thermal spring is one of two thermal pools in the Northern Territory’s stunning in Elsey National Park

Situated near the small town of Mataranka, about an hour south of Katherine, the series of breathtaking pools are surrounded by a lush green forest

Mataranka thermal pool's waters are naturally filled with water from the nearby Daly and Georgina basins and sit at 34C all year round

Situated near the small town of Mataranka, about an hour south of Katherine, the series of breathtaking pools are surrounded by a lush green forest

The ‘healing waters’ of Mataranka 

The Mataranka Pool has a volume of 30.5 million litres of water, with more pumping in every day through the ‘underground mineral water veins’.

This water comes straight from the Daly and Georgina basins, which turns up the temperature of the pool up to about 34 degrees.

Mataranka is famed for its healing properties. The heat and minerals created in a hot spring are said to promote physical and mental relaxation and lead to a better sense of overall wellbeing. 

Mataranka has become a poplar spot for adventurers as local issued a plea for more visitors after tourism dwindled during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In 2021 as the coronavirus situation in Australia was easing locals were pushing for Mataranka’s revival.

There were almost 220,000 visitors to Elsey National Park, which includes Mataranka Thermal Pool, in 2019. 

The number of tourists took a hit in 2020, thanks to border closures introduced to halt the spread of Covid.

Now as Aussies are free to move about the country, many have rediscovered the natural Northern Territory wonder.

The thermal pools, which are naturally filled with water from the nearby Daly and Georgina basins, make for the perfect Instagram backdrop thanks to its crystal-clear turquoise waters shaded by tropical palms. 

Mataranka has become a very poplar spot for adventurers as local issued a plea for more visitors after tourism dwindled during the Covid-19 pandemic

Mataranka has become a very poplar spot for adventurers as local issued a plea for more visitors after tourism dwindled during the Covid-19 pandemic

The thermal pools make for the perfect Instagram backdrop thanks to its crystal-clear turquoise waters shaded by tropical palms

Mataranka Thermal Pool's sandy-bottomed refreshing swimming hole is the perfect reward for visitors after the 20-minute walk near the centre of town

The thermal pools make for the perfect Instagram backdrop thanks to its crystal-clear turquoise waters shaded by tropical palms

Mataranka springs are famed for their healing abilities with legend saying a plunge in the impossibly blue waters can help improve aches and pains

Mataranka springs are famed for their healing abilities with legend saying a plunge in the impossibly blue waters can help improve aches and pains

Mataranka Thermal Pool’s sandy-bottomed refreshing swimming hole is the perfect reward for visitors after the 20-minute walk that starts near the centre of town. 

There are three main access points into Elsey National Park and visitors to Mataranka Pools can take the Homestead Road turnoff and follow it for around 7km to the start of the short and easy walking trail. 

There are steel ladders and concrete edging around the perimeter making it easy to get in and out of the water. 

The pool can get crowded on weekends, especially in the peak season between May and October, but they are large enough that everyone has their own space. 

Mataranka springs are famed for their healing abilities with legend saying a plunge in the impossibly blue waters can help improve aches and pains. 

Some lucky visitors may be able to spy the area’s red flying foxes that inhabit the park while freshwater turtles can often be seen taking a dip in the pools. 



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