We visited a number of hot springs on our 3 month trip from Perth to the Northern Territory. The first one for us though, was Katherine Hot Springs, located just behind the Riverview Caravan Park.
If you aren’t familiar with hot springs, they are naturally occurring bodies of warm water that you can kick back and relax in for hours. Some are just a trickle, and others are huge.
Getting to Katherine Hot Springs
To get to the Hot springs, turn at the sign right near the Riverview Caravan Park off Victoria Highway, and follow the road to the end. This is right where the gate is at the back of the Riverview Caravan Park, where those staying in the park walk down from.
From there, its a 350m walk down a bitumen hill, and into the hot springs. If you take the left path at the bottom it takes you to the bottom part of the springs, and the right takes you to the source of the springs.
The walk in
The walk in is not what I was expecting; its rather bland with not much to see at all. But, don’t despair; its beautiful at the springs themselves. These springs have been heavily man influenced, and have walkways, stairs and hand rails.
Check the whole thing out before you swim
I’d recommend you go to the source of the springs, and walk down before you hop into the water. It’s beautiful at the top, and in the middle, and at the bottom, where a small waterfall is. The first time we swam, I didn’t even know you could go further upstream. Obviously the further to the source you are, the warmer the water, which is nice for a bit of difference!
Don’t take your valuables
There are signs all over the place suggesting not to take valuables. It’s a place where things are easily stolen, so unless your gear is waterproof and on you, leave it locked up at camp. If you can take waterproof car keys, do so – its another thing you don’t have to worry about. I did go down with cameras, but made sure they were with me at all times.
How does it compare to Mataranka, Bitter Springs, Lorella and El Questro?
Katherine hot springs seem quite ‘commercial’ compared to the springs at Lorella Station and El Questro, and Bitter Springs. They are much bigger than El Questro’s Zebedee springs, but still great none the less. We loved it, but the natural springs at Mataranka and Lorella are much nicer in our opinion.
That said, a visit to the Katherine Hot Springs should be done – it is a beautiful place well worth soaking the warm waters up for a short break! Head there early in the morning before the crowds get there, and you’ll really appreciate it.