The terminology "hot springs" is
probably stretching the truth a bit. "Tepid" would probably fit the bill
better. Averaging at a lovely temperature of 32C it makes the springs
very enjoyable during the cooler dry season months.
The Katherine Town
Council have spent a few dollars over the years beautifying and
restructuring the Hot Springs area and associated walking tracks along
the Katherine River corridor. The main pool now has a gravel bed which
keeps the sediment disturbance down, and the crystal clear water looking
The area has transformed from
a simple hole in the river bed to a well thought out recreational area.
The addition of new raised walking platforms has opened the area up to
Tourists who can now see the source of the spring water via a viewing
platform. And from there follow the stream a few metres down to the
walkway/bridge to the main pool.
In late 2005 there has been more money spent on concrete
seating/steps. This vastly improved the accessibility and lack
of mud after the April 2006 floods.
This main pool has wheel chair
access, stainless steel rails and the walls have been formed out
of rock. From there the springs flow along to another pandanus lined pool to a
retaining wall that acts as a small waterfall, allowing water to flow
over into yet another small plunge pool (top image) before the stream meanders
amongst the paperbark trees and out into the Katherine River 30 Metres
The area from the hot springs
is well grassed with shady spots and sunbathing areas. Just right for a
Considering it goes underwater each year by about 14-16
metres it does quite well.
For Ghan Train travellers, I'd get the bathers & spend a few
hours here while everyone else goes to the Gorge or in Town. Its
about half way between town & the Train terminal & beats sitting
at the terminal for 4 hrs.
If you feel like stretching your legs,
there is a walking/ bike path that follows the river bed, taking you
through the River Red Gums/ Ghost Gums a few kilometres to the
Low level Nature Reserve. Here you can view and walk across the Katherine River
as it passes through this very popular swimming spot.
View from top of riverbank, the Katherine
River is over the trees.
Panorama photo of the Katherine
Hot Springs Disabled/ Elderly access
(Persons requiring special needs are
catered for via a vehicle track down into the river bed) (key to be
obtained through the local service station)
This river road access used to be the main
thoroughfare to the springs, but of course the Wet Season sees the river
bed increase in depth by 14-17 metres (if we are lucky) and erosion and
more maintenance and so on. So I guess the Katherine River Management
Committee decided on a you beaut walkway near the Katherine South School
that takes you gracefully down into the river bed. Well done !