Renner Springs to Mataranka Approx 439K
First stop was the famous Daly Waters Hotel (SEE PA) established Airfield during the WW2
The Hotel was fantastic. We had a late breakfast there, bacon and eggs thin white toast (most bread in road houses is all white and thin). The pub consists of an inside bar and eating area and a huge covered beer garden and stage. The walls are covered with the most amusing and hilarious memorabilia. Inside consisted of a collection of hats, bras and different currency notes. Behind the bar were backpackers', both English and Irish, working to extend their visas. Onto the beer-garden where thongs both under-wear and footwear was hanging on the rafters trees on the stage never seen anything like it. People great. This was where we first met 5 soon to be French friends. They were tourists, travelling and working. All were late 20's: 3 girls and 2 boys. We took their photos, 2 Cindy's, Frank and Sam and another girl.
On the road again to the small town of Mataranka, We of the Never Never country, framed by 2 rivers and the serene Elsey National Park. Mataranka Homestead is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Northern Territory. It was established in 1916, by the then Administrator of the Northern Territory. Mataranka's Homestead really came of age when it opened its doors to become the first self-contained resort in the NT. Guests returned alongside our migrating birds to one of Australia's most beautiful and tranquil waterways.
The Homestead features:
· Unique thermal pools
· Elsey Homestead Replica
· Coolibah Carvery/Takeaway kitchen
· Maluka's Bar
· Happy Hour every day 5 to 6 followed by entertainment.
We headed for the Thermal Pool after unpacking and turning on the air-conditioner, temperature 34c, 6% humidity; dry as a chip.
I found the thermal springs fascinating and beautiful. I had never been to one in Australia, so it was a unique experience for me. This unique spring fed Thermal Pool is full of luxuriant palms in the middle of a tropical rain forest maintains 34c and flows at 16,495 litres per 15 minutes (five million litres per day). The experience was magical!!! There were a lot of baby boomers and foreign tourist also swimming. We took our time and just before we were about to get out of the pool our French tourist friends arrived. The girls were gorgeous, very beautiful skimpy bikinis. We were again asked to take photos are they rollicked around, standing on each other's shoulders. The Baby Boomer (BB) women were complaining about them and the blokes couldn't keep their eyes off them. One woman said to me 'disturbing the peace - too much noise!' I responded 'Doesn't seem to be worrying your partner or any of the other blokes!' Just for punishment, she gave her partner the nod that they were going.
We went to the bar and met the manager had a beer and a sandwich to keep us going till dinner.
Had to dolly up for Happy Hour and returned to Maluka's Bar; the crowd was starting to build. The bar is outdoors but with a roof and a lot of fans. We met up with a few couples we had previously met and had a few drinks. The French 5 arrived, took advantage of the 20% off drink prices and proceeded to build a pyramid of their beer cans before Happy Hour finished!!!
Two of the other couples ate and they were not very happy - the fish had been frozen! We decided not to risk another bad meal so we decided to have the Oriental Platter, impossible to ruin, straight from the packet to the oven! Got a double serve and chips! Middle of the NT and eating spring rolls!
The singer arrived and set up on stage quite near the bar. Was great fun, lot of people danced, including me! The kids were all dancing too. Having a great time I too had several dances including dancing with the kids.
Met a marvelous man Des who was the principal, the head master and teacher of the Mataranka primary school. Des gave me an amazing insight into his experience in 100% indigenous primary school. He is also the local volunteer fireman, and obviously a great gardener judging by the beautiful tomatoes he gave to AA and me.
Left the French Five and the others singing and dancing and headed off to bed.