Mataranka is known as the capital of the Never Never because it was home to Jeannie Gunn, author of the classic Australian novel We of the Never Never.
A visit to the station cemetery and homestead replica captures the sense of isolation and hardship confronted by these early settlers.
Today, Mataranka is a modern town with all the services a visitor expects.
The thermal pool at Mataranka Homestead is surrounded by lush palms and has crystal clear (34Celcius) warm waters offering a beautiful swimming pool.
The free barramundi feeding at the Territory Manor is a must-see.
Elsey National Park
The Little Roper and the Waterhouse River’s join and become the Roper River within the boundaries of this 13,840ha park.
Bitter Springs, Rainbow Spring and Mataranka Thermal Pool are some of the park’s major attractions.
Other attractions include Elsey Cemetery situated 21km south of Mataranka with its gravestones marking the resting place of many of the characters written about in Jeannie Gunn's book.
The Elsey Homestead replica is an authentic copy of the original hand-hewn cypress pine homestead, situated at the Mataranka Homestead Resort.
The Never Never Museum behind the Council Chambers in the centre of town displays information on Aboriginal history, the North Australian Railway, Overland Telegraph Line construction and WWII.
The best time to visit the park is between May and September.
Fishing and canoeing are popular here and swimming is allowed in various springs in the park.
There are also a number of walks, picnic areas and camping areas throughout the park.
The Top End has got everything from ‘five star’ to ‘under the stars’ accommodation and everything in between. Friendly hotels, roadside inns, motels and hostels welcome you everywhere, while camping grounds and caravan parks draw you closer to sunsets and swimming holes, to outback bars and entertainment.