12 Mile Yards Campsite, Elsey National Park, NT

Day 155 – 21st July 2011
12 Mile Yards Campsite, Elsey National Park, NT

This morning we had a look at an old sheep dip, which was part of an experimental sheep station in the early 1900s and an Aboriginal Army Camp to which Aborigines from the Darwin region where evacuated in WWII. Afterwards we decided to go on the Botanic Walk and continue on along the Roper River to Mataranka Homestead. This was quite an adventurous walk where we had to “build” our own bridges to cross the river. It’s only when we got to the other end that there was a sign saying this walk was closed due to flooding. At the Mataranka homestead we had a look at the Elsey Homestead replica, which was built for the movie “We of the Never Never”. They show the movie (an Australian classic of life in the Outback as a pioneer in the early 1900s) every midday for free viewing at the homestead. We went for a swim at the Mataranka Thermal Pools (very crowded and less impressive surroundings than the Bitter Springs Pools) and had a look at Rainbow Springs and Stevie’s Hole before returning to the van along our challenging walk (7km return – 3.5h). After lunch Maureen and Andy had arrived as well and together we walked to Mataranka Falls where we had a nice swim (8km return – 4h). When we returned to the campsite we had to cool of again and jumped in the Roper River for a refreshing dip.

Old sheep dip with great looking sheep

Botanic Walk

Andrew building a bridge

Testing his bridge

Luckily this bridge was still intact as building your own
would have been a bit more tricky here

Replica of Elsey Homestead

Thermal Pools at Mataranka Homestead

Rainbow Springs

Stevie's Hole

Mataranka Falls

Roper River at Mataranka Falls

Enjoying a refreshing swim 

Andy and Maureen have been here before - about 8 years ago -
so when Andy saw the swinging rope was still there he just had to test it out

Andy, Andrew, Maureen and Nele

Roper River at sunset

Did we just see 2 big crocodiles jump in the water?

Enjoying another swim back at the campsite

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