The best little cheap camp in Mataranka

After the walks and excitement of Kakadu, we were looking forward to some down time, especially if it entailed floating in warm water. We headed off from Mary River Roadhouse and did an overnight stop at Edith Falls which was gorgeous. We definitely could have done a couple of nights at that campground.

An early start from Edith Falls put us in Katherine right on the crack of opening time so that we could do all of the chores we had to get done like grocery shop, refilling the gas  bottles, refuelling the car, linking up for an ekindy session and making a trip to the butcher that we’d been eyeing off last time we were in town.  Sadly for us, everything was closed – it was show holiday in Katherine! Not wanting to spend money on a show, we did our groceries at Woolies and then headed out to a small cheap camp called Nixon’s Crossing where the girls met a couple of families and spent the afternoon playing.

After drinks with the neighbours and an early night, we were ready to go early again the next morning and finished off what we needed to do before making our way south towards Mataranka.  Initially, we pulled into the Mataranka Homestead Caravan Park, but after learning that Nathan Griggs, the resident whip cracker who did a show there was not showing over the weekend, we decided to backtrack and stop in at the Little Roper Stockcamp.  At only $15 a night for an unpowered site, it was cheap campsite which in itself would have been enough.  But Little Roper Stockcamp was so much more than that.  With animals to keep the kids occupied including a Brahmin bull and cow, three buffalo, two pigs and some chickens, and a big campfire to sit around for happy hour, the atmosphere of Little Roper Stockcamp was fun and friendly.

And if that wasn’t enough, there were johnny cakes and billy tea held every morning at 8am for the paltry price of a silver coin donation!!!

We had only intended to stay one day in Mataranka, but the Little Roper Stockcamp was just too good, so after an afternoon at Bitter Springs floating down the natural stream, we made the call to stay another day.

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The next day we headed into town to the local weekend market so that we could Watch Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs’ whip cracking show.  And what a show.  So much talent, Whippy took us through a range of tricks including the ‘hardest trick in the world’ known as the four corners.

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He also told us about his Guinness World Records for both the most amount of cracks in a minute (over 600!) and for the longest whip ever cracked (over 100m long!).

It was an impressive show and the girls loved it.  I loved it!  Corey loved it and decided to buy a whip made from the inner tube of a tyre… and promptly whipped himself trying it out. “Now I know how convicts felt” was his response!

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We headed back to camp for lunch before an afternoon at Mataranka Spring which is just an warm and clear, but is situated in a man-made pool.

And then the day was done.  The girls went off and played with the other kids around the camp and Corey hung out at the campfire whilst I got dinner ready. We had such a great time at the Little Roper Stockcamp and the experience alone was worth more than the $15 price tag!

Can you crack a whip? Have you stayed in a place that has simply blown you away with its awesomeness, exceeding all your expectations?

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