Lonely Planet Writer

Iconic outback pub goes up for sale in Australia’s Northern Territory

One of the most iconic pubs in outback Australia, the pub at Daly Waters (population 25) between Darwin and Tennant Creek, is up for sale.

Daly Waters Pub.
Daly Waters Pub. Image by Daly Waters Pub

The lucky purchasers also take ownership of the pub’s famed paraphernalia including business cards, bras, banknotes and other memorabilia from passing travellers. “That will be the worst thing — missing out on the everyday meeting of new people, “current owner Lindsay Carmichael told the ABC. The husband and wife team have run the pub since 1999 and are now looking forward to putting their feet up and doing a bit of travelling themselves.

The Daly Waters Pub is possibly the oldest in the Territory with the current establishment built in 1930. Over the last century the pub has witnessed “murders, shoot-outs in the main street, cattle stampeding through town and the odd drunken brawl,” according to its website. Beside the pub is a camping ground with a bit of shade and accommodation ranging from basic ‘dongas’ (small, transportable buildings) to spacious self-contained cabins. Misspelled signs, Australian rock music, and Aussie food are all part of the pub’s legend status on the NT trail.

Daly Waters Pub
Daly Waters Pub Image by Daly Waters Pub

The publicans pride themselves on their hospitality which has made the post a key stopping off point on the Stuart Highway. Food served at the pub includes “rabbit fooder” (salads), their signature dish wild-caught Territory barramundi, and plenty of barbecues. The tongue-in-cheek website also tells travellers to “kick back and enjoy a cold beer or a fancy cocktail — we will even put an umbrella in it, whatever your liking.” This really is a pub in the middle of nowhere. To get there head south from Darwin for around 600kms, then turn right off the Stuart Highway. It’s another 3kms to the pub. From Alice Springs it’s around 900kms to the turn off.