Being offered a Devonshire tea, at the Springvale Homestead, roughly 200 miles south east of Darwin and nestled on the banks of Katherine River, was an unexpected delight to our British tastebuds. The brick building is said to be the oldest standing homestead in the northern territory – built in the 1880’s.
Yet is was the wild wallabies that became our main attraction. Sitting quietly the kids and I managed to hand feed them, enjoying the bristling feel of their fur, as they gently took the food from our fingers.
- If you let the kids feed them, please remember they are wild and can defend themselves by kicking out with their hind legs, if they feel threatened.
Further on Highway 1, along the Stuart Highway is Bitter Springs – a part of Elsey National Park. A walking path arrives you at your destination but don’t be fooled by the stillness of the water – the current has quite a yank to it. Take your snorkeling gear as there is more to see under the water. The smell of decay took a little getting used to but the coolness of the water, a delight after the heat of the day. There were others here when we first arrived but very quickly left, having the place to ourselves was an enjoyable privilege.
On our return to Katherine and as part of our australian road trip, we took time out to visit Rainbow Springs, inside the Mataranka Homestead, where the children enjoyed another swim in the thermal pools, before we all sat down at the bar for their dad and I to indulge ourselves with a cool lager.
Settling back at Springvale, we made the most of the camp kitchen to cook our food. On our visit it was clean and functional and as long as everyone clears up after themselves I’m sure it’ll stay that way.
The only thing that made us a bit twitchy was being told about the crocs living in the water at the bottom of the park. We always double checked the pool before entering the area.
What Thermal Springs have you swam in?