South of Adelaide River, just off Oolloo Road is a turn off for Butterfly Gorge National Park. The park protects a portion of the Douglas River and it’s well worth the trip, but make sure you stop off at Douglas Hot Springs on your way there.
Tjuwaliyn (Douglas) Hot Springs
Located on the Douglas River, the Douglas Hot Springs is a great spot for camping at only $6.60 a night per adult. The campground is right next to the Douglas River, which has a rocky spring that pumps out scorching hot water into the river. Depending on where you sit, you can have a refreshingly cool swim, a warm bath or a hot, swirling spa.
The crystal clear waters of the springs are surrounded by coarse golden sand and palms, with a few little fishies swimming around.
Once you get to the car park, there are two walks that you can do – 2km to a lookout or 600m into the gorge. To get to the main pool, you will have to climb over a small, rocky cliff or alternatively you can wade through the (potentially) croc infested water. We decided to climb over the rocks – just for fun!
The main pool is surrounded by high rugged cliffs, lush plants and rock figs with curtains of roots. There were lots of crow butterflies fluttering about – that’s probably where the gorge got its name from. While you can swim across the pool and check out the other side to get a closer look at the gorge, we got a little freaked by little air bubbles and swirling water. We chose not to take any risks – we were in the Territory now and have to be super cautious about crocodiles.