The Quirky Character of the Daly Waters Pub

When you’ve been driving for miles (and miles) up the Stuart Highway across the parched outback landscape of central Australia, with the temperature rising…

Stuart Highway

Its a welcome sight to come across…

The Historic Daly Waters Pub

Daly Waters Pub
Situated 600km (370 miles) south of Darwin and 900km (560 miles) north of Alice Springs, the original building was a general store when established in 1930 by Bill and Hennrietta Pearce, who were granted the first jug license in 1938.

Daly Waters Pub established 1930The area was named Daly Waters in honour of the then Governor of South Australia Sir Dominic Daly by John Mcdouall Stuart, an explorer who made the first south to north crossing of Australia in 1862. The discovery of this watering hole became a crucial stopping point for cattle drovers as well as the construction of the north-south overland telegraph line that was completed in 1872.

Lindsay Carmichael and Robyne Webster

Today, the pub is run by Lindsay Carmichael and Robyne Webster , who we called in to say hello to when recently visiting the Northern Territory.
Lindsay and Robyne have been stocking our Journal Maps and Mail-It Maps since we started publishing Journey Jottings back in 2004 –
It was fun that nine years later they were our 5,000th order 🙂

Journey Jottings customer

Daly Waters Pub is renowned for its quirkyness

Its character comes both from its importance in outback history – demonstrated by the 1878 telegraph pole that was found out bush in 2009 and is now erected to the left of the entrance –

Overland Telegraph Line

To the paraphernalia left behind by the countless visitors that have passed through over generations resulting in the creation of a bizarre series of collections of…

  • croc shoes and thongs on the verandah posts
  • hats along the beams…

Daly Waters Pub Collections

  • a wall of ‘lost’ car and truck number plates

Daly Waters Pub car number plates

  • foreign and local currency notes pinned to a wall
  • the legs of an intruder entering from the attic
  • photos and cards along the front of the bar
  • a selection of bras hanging above the bar

Daly Waters Pub decoration

  • a row of caps cram packed up by the ceiling
  • collections of badges…
  • flags
  • shirts

Daly Waters Pub Interior

And then there’s the Ladies toilet…

Ladies Toilet Daly Waters Pub

…or is that the Dunnie, longdrop, the bog, Thunderbox, the Loo, Powder Room, WC, the Outhouse, the Jaxx, Plee, Streisshaus, Gabinetto, Latrine, Karzi, Freischwinger or the Jon?

Let alone the most remote set of traffic lights, which are permanently set on red!

Remotest set traffic lights

And on the counter amongst all the ephemera that adorns the walls, ceiling, beams, posts, front and back of the bar, alongside a sign offering the services of Trevor Bower who can repair dentures and pull teeth…

are our Journey Jottings 😉

Journey Jottings at Daly Waters Pub


Have you visited Daly Waters Pub when travelling up (or down) the track?
Do share *your* experience in the comments below!


Daly Waters Pub Location Map

Or maybe even tell us what piece of apparel *you* left behind to add to their collection!


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13 thoughts on “The Quirky Character of the Daly Waters Pub

    • And the fun thing is, it all belongs to the customers that have passed through!
      A great way to make you feel at home, when you once owned part of the decor 🙂

  1. WOW! We were there in 1986 and I don’t think it’s changed at all – just a lot more memorabilia I guess. Brings back memories of our wonderful 3 1/2 months in the outback!

    • It remaining the same old historic Daly Waters Pub is of course its charm –
      But I think you’d be right about the additional memorabilia!!

      Sounds like you made quite a trip – 3 1/2 months in the outback –
      That would have been wonderful 🙂

  2. This looks like such a great place! We need to return to Australia when we have a LOT of time to get around the country. We’ve been to Sydney and Melbourne and we took a wine tasting trip out of Sydney, and a day trip to tour the 12 Apostles, and we had a great time – loved every moment. But we really need to make another trip, there is SO much more to see. Maybe one day we’ll get back. Until then I look forward to reading your posts.

    • Like America, Australia is such a large island continent one has to make choices… which I agree are hard!
      It is worth another trip… with more info of course from here to base your decisions on 😉

  3. I was there last in 1971, when the Pioneer bus blew a tyre about 30km north of Daly Waters. The bus limped into Daly Waters at 5.30pm and because there wasn’t a spare tyre a mechanic had to be sent for from Darwin. The passengers had to try and sleep on the bus, which was difficult as there was a small group who decided to pass the time drinking and playing the juke box, at the General Store, very loudly. By the time the mechanic arrived at 2.30am most people were fed up and tired.
    2 weeks ago I revisited on the way to Darwin and had a beer at the Pub. I don’t recognize the place that was back in 1971. For me the pub is now a fun place to stop.

    • What a wonderful story Sue ~
      Definitely a tale from a more pioneering era (pun intended!)
      But I agree – Daly Waters Pub is a fun interlude on a long stretch 🙂

  4. Pingback: Year Past, Year Present, Year Future... Keeping a Year at a Glance

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