Mataranka flying foxes

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 10:00
ThreadID: 19748 Views:2786 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Hi everyone,
We are planning a trip to the Kimberlys later this year from the east coast. We were planning on a stopover at Mataranka and have been advised against it because the thermal pools have been severely polluted by a large colony of flying foxes camping in the trees above the pools. The people said they would not swim in the pools and could not get out of the town quick enough because of the smell. Normally the flying fox smell dosen't worry us. I guess it depends on the magnitude of it but we would not want to swim in the pools full of flying fox droppings. Can anyone confirm this story.
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 10:15

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 10:15
You could try asking the Territory manor up there on (08)89754516. The thermal springs are naturaly the breeding grounds for the little red flying fox but I think I also heard something about the foxes becoming a problem.
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Reply By: tessa_51 - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 10:52

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 10:52
We were there in July. POOH!!! People were booking in and then getting refunds and moving on. We managed to stay one night. Along with all the others who perservered we spent an hour the next morning washing down the truck and van. You couldn't walk to the amenities without your feet squelching. To get to the pools you had to run the gauntlet through the forest. Towel was covered in poo by the time I got there.
There are hot springs at the other end of town (North) which were great, and NO BATS.
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Follow Up By: Indy - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 11:06

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 11:06
Could you give me the name of a caravan park in town that is not affected by the flying foxes. In my research the Territory Manor is on the north side of town. Is this one free of flying foxes? Bitter springs is suposed to be 1K from the caravan park. Is this the springs you said were great?
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Reply By: greghud - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 13:06

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 13:06
(ssssssnnnnifffff).......AHHHHH...... nuthin beets the smell of....
u know that the bat 'poo' is actuly vomit they digest the friut and then vomit it back out. coz they hang upside down and dooin a poo probably not real good when your bums skyward!! thats why you need to wash the poo off asap the stomach acid is VERY acidic and will strip the paint in less than 24 hrs, its also prity grose
the locals in mataranka and katherine have had big probs over the last few years but are trialing methods to chace them away sonic booms etc... all to great expence (obviuosly), no suscess. then one of the locals gets fed up with all the 'experts' and gets on his ride on mower mows the lawn each day. problem solved they all come in to roost and get chased off!!!!
last i herd the flock had moved furthur out of town and it now is habitable again
but best to just phone and check;)
AnswerID: 94817

Reply By: Noosa Bushtrackers - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 15:05

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 15:05
We were there at the end of May last year and the main pool out at the Mataranka Homestead had thousands of Bats in the palms, and the palms themselves looked in a sorry state also.
We stayed at the caravan park in the township of Mataranka itself, which is also on the corner of the road that leads to Bitter Springs. Bitter Springs had NO batts and is a much more natural setting than the other pools that have brick work and pavers around the pool.

Not sure of the name of the park but it is probably "Territory Manor Caravan Park" 08 8975 4516. The park we stayed at has lots of large shade trees with a dam where they feed Barra each morning and they lift them up out of the water as they take the feed from their hand.

Doing it tuff, Towing a Bushtracker.

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Follow Up By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 18:05

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 18:05
Gday Brian,we stayed there a couple of years ago,great park.Wish I could catch Barra like that !!!
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Reply By: Indy - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 15:45

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 15:45
Thanks for the info. That is where we were planning on staying anyway so we will stick to our original plan. I wouldn't mind talking off forum with you sometime as I believe we may be covering some of the same territory you did (last year?) and interested in your comments. I will be towing a Phoenix.
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Follow Up By: Noosa Bushtrackers - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 12:06

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 12:06
Would be happy to discuss our trip with you. Send us an e-mail to

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Reply By: Member -Dodger - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 17:38

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 17:38
If you like bush camping try the Elsey Nat Park at 12mile it,s on the road to the original springs and is only $6.50 per night however there is no power but has hot showers (solar so be early) and wonderfull camping or drive through van sites.
We spent a very enjoyable week there. Plenty of swimming and hiking plus you can visit the bitter springs thermal pool without bats when you like.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

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Follow Up By: ozromer - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 19:24

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 19:24
Agree 100% with Dodger. We used Mataranka first time and, whilst entralled at the sight of (allegedly) 250,000 bats flying out to forage at dusk, the smell was overpowering, the palms trashed and the hot springs not at all enticing.
Next time stayed at Elsey and had delightful time with good bird life instead of bats.
Safe travelling

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Reply By: Member - Tim D (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 21:48

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005 at 21:48
Hi tim here in Katherine the bats are gone at the moment living at the raaf base at tindal we have the same problem during most drys we got the blame for chasing the bats off this year and them taking up residence at materaku when we move back here in sept they were no where to be found. There is no garentee that they will be back there when you plan to come this way but it would pay you to ring the week before you leave to check for them. We get out each morning as they come in to sleep and bash a old baking dish with a metal bar this scares then off to the next tree. But you can give me a yell before you leave and I will let you know what the situation is with the bats.
AnswerID: 94892

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 01:38

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005 at 01:38
Shame to hear the bats are still causing a problem. Mataranka was a no go because of the bats in 1998/99 when we lived in Darwin. On a previous trip we'd spent several lovely days there. The thermal springs were great and the management at Mataranka were going to a lot of effort to cater to the tourist including nightly entertainment provided by the Mataranka Band, good service and meals. Pity the bat problem seems to have persisted for so long.

:o) Melissa
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