Daly Waters – One of Australia’s Unique Spots


Yesterday we left an overnight roadside stop about 50 km out of Mataranka

and headed south expecting to get to a lake near the town of Elliot. It was

a cold night and the rumble of road trains every 15 mins or so was a

reminder to try and find campsites a little further off the main drag.

We stopped at Mataranka to enjoy the thermal pools and at 34 degrees C they

were great! The nights and mornings are very cool now – I even dragged the

trakky daks out last night – so to have a warm bath was very nice. Getting

out again was a different matter!

From Mataranka we went to Daly Waters where we planned on doing a lunch

stop, but ended up staying the night. We had heard it was a fun place and

very unique and at $20.00 / night for a powered site we thought it too good

to pass up.

The whole scene is very funky and the pub is a hoot. It’s got a real wacky

outback vibe and needs to be seen – a real Aussie icon! They do a Beef and

Barra BBQ each night so we signed up that – again blowing the budget quite

significantly but it was great stuff and well worth the $$.

A couple of tips though for staying at Daly Waters:

– Position your camper well away from the ablutions. We were right next door

and thought initially thought it great, as we had an ‘ensuite’, but the

leech drains just weren’t coping and the gentle waft of excrement that would

occasionally blow across the camper took away from the experience just a


– Position your camper well away from the pub – or be prepared to stay up

late! The Saturday night crew partied on loud and long probably till

12.00ish and when I saw loud I mean LOUD. I was too cold to go and give them

a rev, but then being Saturday night and it being a pub what could you say


Still – if you’re headed this way then make sure you include it for a stop.

Unpowered sites are only $10/night, there is a pool and it’s a fun


We also met another family from Ocean Reef who are also doing the lap but

going in the opposite direction so we were able to share tips and learnings.

A shame we weren’t going on the same path as they seemed like cool people.

2 thoughts on “Daly Waters – One of Australia’s Unique Spots

  1. Hi Andrew, great reading all about your travels – looks like you and the fam are having heaps of fun! I LOVED Mataranka – hardly anyone has ever heard of it – may have changed a bit since I last went when I was 17 with my parents and siblings whilst travelling around Aust similar to yourself in a caravan – was a great trip. The thermal pools were so awesome and it’s just the one place I have never ever forgotten – so tranquil and beautiful – although I do remember something biting in the water – like a small sting – midgies?? Read your comments on saying hi to the person next to you being really annoying at churches you are visiting – wanted to comment but as I am on Angela’s page thought I better not as it sounds like it is from her – but it did cause a stir didn’t it – you even sounded a bit bitter at churches – they are just trying to do their best and make people feel welcome – the church will always fall short as God keeps continuing to use us – sinners, so don’t go looking for the perfect one – it’s not there! Let’s build – not tear down. Anyway, hi to Donelle and the kids – enjoy your travels. Karen x

  2. hi Karen – glad you enjoyed your time in the NT too!

    Re greeting – I don’t feel ‘bitter towards churches’ not at all. I lead one and I speak at many of them, but I do find that practice particularly disturbing in it’s shallowness and assumption that everyone – or even anyone wishes to participate in it. Why not just let people relate as people? It surely isn’t that hard!? 🙂

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