Is Bitter Springs worth visiting?

Is Bitter Springs worth visiting?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 02/05/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

Spend a few hours enjoying the warm thermal waters with tropical trees surrounding the water.

Bitter Springs

Bitter Springs is a natural thermal pool and is one of two in Elsey National Park. The water of these pools is warm and crystal clear, the perfect place to be on a cold dry season morning. You can easily feel like you could spend the full day relaxing in the clean and refreshing water at Bitter Springs. These thermal pools are by the tropical forest and are the perfect place to relax.

The best time to visit

During the wet season, Bitter Springs is closed due to flooding. Always check online before visiting between November to May.

During the dry season when the pools are open, we highly recommend getting there early in the morning. When you do visit, there is a park pass fee that you need to pay.

Things to do

Aside from enjoying the clear warm waters that the thermal pools have, here are other things you can do around Bitter Springs.

Mataranka Hot Springs

• Bitter Springs walk
The Bitter Springs loop walk is a short 20-minute walk around the Livistona-lined thermal pool. The walk is relatively easy and is wheelchair accessible.

• Mataranka Thermal Pool
Not too far from Bitter Springs is the other natural Mataranka Thermal Pool in the national park. Like Bitter Springs, these thermal pools are warm all year round and are also crystal clear.

• Never Never Museum
This museum has all kinds of interesting displays from the town’s local history to WWII artifacts and the northern railway. At the Australian Post Office next door, you can pay a fee to see the museum.

• Camp
You can camp nearby at the Bitter Springs Cabins and Camping. This campground is within walking distance of the thermal pools. The campground has different cabins that include a verandah, carport, and BBQ. There are also powered and unpowered sites.

• Katherine
Katherine is about an hour’s drive from Bitter Springs. Katherine has its own Hot Springs, a Museum, and a Visitor Information Centre to check out. Not far from Katherine is Nitmiluk National Park for Nitmiluk Gorge, where there are 13 gorges.

• Mataranka Falls
About a 20-minute drive from Bitter Springs is the start of the Mataranka Falls Track. The walk will take you around two hours to complete as you walk along the Roper River, see the beautiful waterfall, and relax at a picnic area.

Bitter Springs is a bit of a trip out from Darwin, with the drive being over four hours long. If you want to go here, you may want to consider spending a night.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.