Australia / Eat

The Oldest (and Coolest) Pub in NT

— 18 Aug 2012 —

So like I said, we went to the Daly Waters Historic Pub. The place I was most looking forward to on the entire trip. Crazy right? Especially when we had Uluru, Devils Marbles and Kakadu on the itinerary.

You see, I’m an engineer. I work in a male-dominated environment, most of whom are tough, macho, beer guzzlers, despite the wave of metrosexuals and hipsters. In order to fit in, you need to be able to drink and talk rough. Luckily for me, I’m good at both. My years spent in Africa taught me well. And that’s why Daly Waters was the draw card for me on this tour.

Now that I’ve convinced you I’m not an alcoholic (not yet anyways) and its part of my job description to be able to drink (lots of) beer, I’ll tell you more about the small town of Daly Waters and its awesome pub.

Daly Waters first started as a small town built in the middle of nowhere. The area was discovered by famous (only to Australians) explorer John McDouall Stuart, and was named after the Governor of South Australia, Sir Dominick Daly. Despite not being built along the side of a major highway (any town not along or on the major highway back in the days was termed to be in the middle of nowhere), it became popular when it became the site for the first International Airport in Australia, for flights en route to London, and later as a World War II Airforce base for protecting the Northern Australian coastline.

Nowadays, the pub is a destination for the many travellers along the Alice to Darwin route. The pub is renowned for its genuine hospitality, cold beer and as the quintessential outback Australian pub. I will always remember this pub for it’s (different and interesting) memorabilia and it’s quirkiness.

Memorabilia from all around the world adorn the walls around the pub, in and out. Passport photos (including Toni’s!), drivers licences, bras, knickers (mine are the bright blue ones, and yes they’re clean), thongs (the ones you wear on your feet), cowboys hats. Every sort of memorabilia you can think of, they have it up on the walls.

During the dry season, there is nightly entertainment presented by Daly Waters’ resident entertainer Chilli on this outdoor stage, built just for him. He sounds and acts like a typical Australian, which is fitting to the pub’s character.

And here’s one to the pub. For being the coolest pub I’ve ever been to!

PS. If you’re visiting, don’t forget to make your mark. It’s $1 (and above – depends on how much you want to donate) to leave your memorabilia and the money goes towards The Royal Flying Doctor service.


Daly Water Historic Pub
Stuart St, Daly Waters, NT
From N: Drive south on Stuart Highway from Darwin, for approximately 600kms. Turn right off the highway into the Daly Waters township. Pub is 3kms from the turn off.
From S: Drive north on Stuart Highway from Alice Springs, for approximately 900kms. Turn left off the highway into the Daly Waters township. Pub is 3kms from the turn off.
w: (for accommodation and events)
t: +61 (0) 8 8975 9927


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