In Australia’s psyche and none more so than the humble outback tavern. In each edition of Journey Beyond magazine, we take a seat at the bar and lift the lid on some of Australia’s most iconic watering holes.
16 Stuart St, Daly Waters, Northern Territory 0852
The Daly Waters pub is a welcome sight for travellers who’ve likely driven six and a half hours south from Darwin or ten hours north of Alice Springs to get there. Situated just off the Stuart Highway, the pub has no windows (just screens) and the ceiling and walls heave with souvenirs left by visitors, as opposed to taken by visitors. Walk into the main bar and you’ll be met with an array of bras hanging from the ceiling – all left behind by women who felt the need to leave their mark.
This legacy is said to have started in the ’80s when a busload of tourists lost a bet to their coach driver and all left the pub a little lighter than when they arrived. Less unusual are the stickers, IDs and business cards that adorn the bar.
No stranger to unusual happenings, the pub has been witness to its fair share of excitement over the years. There have been shoot outs in the main street, cattle stampeding through town and the odd drunken brawl.
The Daly Waters Pub started out as a store in 1930 and later got its jug license in 1938. Publican Bill Pearce not only kept travellers fed and hydrated, he also refuelled the planes with Daly Waters being Australia’s first international airport.
No doubt, the colourful memorabilia strewn around the bar and its laidback approach to life is all part of The Daly Waters Pub’s charm. Its approach to good, old-fashioned outback hospitality is evident – hell, they’ll even bake you a cake if you let them know it’s your birthday or anniversary! So, if travelling between Darwin and Alice Springs, take the time to veer off the Stuart Highway and quench your thirst at Daly Waters – just make sure you’ve packed a spare bra.