Daly Waters to Mataranka with Ellen and Les | Lets Go Caravan and Camping

Daly Waters to Mataranka with Ellen and Les

< Inspiration / Category: Featured Bloggers / Tags: Follow the Sun Relay Northern Territory

NT couple Ellen and Les will drive from Alice Springs to Darwin as a leg of the Follow the Sun Relay. This post is about Daly Waters to Mataranka.

Daly Waters

One of our favourite pubs in the Territory! We popped into the historic Daly Waters Pub to request a spot in the caravan park next door and then drove in to choose our own powered site, and we were spoilt for choice!

The caravan park has plenty of private ensuite style shower/toilet rooms, a washing machine for guests and plenty of shade.

You’ll never go hungry at Daly Waters Pub, they put of a great breaky, lunch and dinner!

Beef and barra are served fresh off the BBQ during the dry/tourist season and live music is played from the memorabilia covered stage outside. The weather in this area is pretty great all year round so the outdoor dining area is always welcoming, with plenty of seating and big fans to keep you cool. The walls, bar and roof are covered in money, drivers licenses and underwear from all over the world!

Ellen played on both nights we stayed; it was a great two nights full of lots of friendly family fun. The bar is stocked with all the best drink choices and Les even won a fishing shirt with his first beer!

Daly Waters Pub can also confidently boast one of the best outback pub feeds in the whole country (in our opinion), you just can’t beat it! The menu is huge, so you’ll have to stay a few extra nights to try all the great options that you won’t be able to choose between!

Pink Panther/Larrimah Hotel

Yep, another pub we are stoked we stopped at! If the idea of a nice cold beer, fresh handmade pie and CROCODILES sounds like a good time to you, then the Pink Panther (aka Larrimah Hotel) is one stop you have got to add to your list!

With the ‘highest bar in the NT’ the friendly staff will crack you open a cold one and then show you the way to the ‘Critterz Wildlife Park’ out the back.

$5 for adults, and $3 for kids is well worth how long you’ll spend wandering around, saying g’day to all the Australian wildlife! Emus, wallabies, lizards, snakes, a HUGE collection of the most beautiful Australian birds we’ve ever seen….oh and crocodiles!!!

Unfortunately we didn’t see the resident fresh water croc, but we got within meters of the very friendly salt water croc, suitably named ‘Sneaky Sam’.

It’s a shame the pub is up for sale, we’d hate to see it shut down or lose all the animals. If we could, we’d be the ones to take it over. There’s so much potential for this part of Australian history to be thriving just like it was in its heyday.

So there you go, add ‘beer and crocs at the Pink Panther’ to your list of places to stay in the NT!

Mataranka Homestead

Alright, we should start by saying we’re a liiiiiittle bit biased about Mataranka being the absolute BEST TOWN in the whole Territory. We lived here for 2.5 months earlier this year so we know all the best local tips on what to see/do and where to stay!

All you have to do is google Mataranka Homestead or check out their Facebook page to see all the raving reviews from guests and day visitors. The most popular attraction at the Homestead is the Thermal Pools, where you can safely swim with no chance of bumping into a crocodile! Elsey National Park is home to the Thermal Pools, meaning it’s not run by the Homestead and is open 24/7!  There are a few path lights, but for a night time swim you will probably need a torch.

The Homestead has over 160 powered sites, and HEAPS of unpowered camping spots! Where you camp is all up to you; we suggest finding the shadiest spot you can and settling in for the few days, or weeks that you plan to stay. The 60 brand new powered sites on the airstrip got their first use during this year’s dry season and we’d happily park up for a few weeks in these spots! The friendly, and always cheery staff (it’s pretty hard to be grumpy when you live in paradise) are more than happy to serve you an ice cold beer at Maluka’s Bar and breakfast, lunch and dinner in Jeannie’s kitchen. Ellen loves the lunch time ‘chicken burger with the works’ and Les just really loves Great Northern!!

The water does contain a bit of lime and calcium but is safe to drink and of course safe to shower, and wash your dishes in. We confidently filled our water tank without a worry. As the tourist season quietens down, the top amenities block is closed but the newly refurbished shower/toilet block next to the dump spot is open and cleaned daily. Ellen reckons this is the BEST Outback shower she’s ever had, and we’ve had a lot of interesting Outback showers!

As well as the bar and bistro being open, during the dry season you’ll find entertainment nightly down near the fire pit in the bar area! This year the insanely popular band ‘The Repeat Offenders’ rocked the Homestead stage every night from 6.30pm. While the band had roughly 2 months off, Ellen played nightly and LOVED the caravanning and camping crowds.

Monday – Friday from 9pm in the dry season make sure you bring your seat as close to the front as possible, because you will not want to miss ‘Nathan Whippy Griggs’ cracking live show! He is a multi World Record Holder for whip cracking, and you can see him right here in Mataranka!! If you stop in Mataranka for one thing, make sure it’s Whippy’s show. You can buy yourself, and your kids a whip at the stall after, and even get it signed by the man himself. Nathan also sells his hand made whips and merchandise at his shop in town, Whippy’s Whips during the dry season. So if you have ever driven through Mataranka and thought it was just a nice little fuel stop, you absolutely have to drive the quick 7km down Homestead Road and see all the fun you’re missing out on!

Ellen and Les

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Check out more Follow the Sun Relay posts here.

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