From Darwin to Uluru Taking the world’s longest pub crawl
It's thirsty work exploring the Northern Territory. Make the most of your outback trip by stopping in at these iconic waterholes between Darwin and Uluru (Ayers Rock)! Explore, stop, rest and spend some time meeting new people, swapping stories and forging that legendary 'Aussie mateship'.
In the Northern Territory, everything’s larger than life – including the colourful locals and their crocodile and UFO stories. You can create your own larger-than-life tale by taking the world’s longest pub crawl from Darwin to Uluru, with a few stops along the way. It will be the thirst-quenching experience of a lifetime.
A toast in the capital
Starting in the capital city of Darwin, head to Dinah Beach Cruising Yacht Association where popping into the shaded open-air bar feels more like swinging by a friend’s shed. The old-school harbour-front bar is a 15-minute stroll from the city centre. A little further from the CBD is the Darwin Sailing Club, which faces Fannie Bay. Park a chair under a palm tree to admire one of the Top End’s brilliant sunsets while slurping a cold beer. At Cullen Bay Marina, the carnival-themed eatery Lola’s Pergola offers a view of the vessels in dock as well as an unusual selection of craft beers.
Taste of Kakadu
Now it’s time to head 305 kilometres (about three hours’ drive) south-east into Kakadu National Park and refuel at Cooinda Lodge’s Barra Bar & Bistro. Pair an ice-cold brew with the bistro’s Kakadu Tasting Platter – a tasty bush-tucker spread that includes barramundi, char-grilled buffalo sausages, kangaroo fillet and smoked crocodile.
A true outback pub
Next stop on your marathon pub crawl is the quirky Daly Waters Historic Pub, just off the Stuart Highway 530km (about six hours' drive) south of Cooinda Lodge. The place is draped in memorabilia of an eye-catching kind: it’s said women started leaving behind their bras after female passengers lost a drinking bet with a coach driver in the 1980s. The bras are part of the colourful history of the pub, which dates back to 1930. In its early years, there are stories of patrons witnessing main-street shoot-outs and cattle stampedes. It’s also said there’s a resident ghost.
A dry river runs through it
It’s a marathon trek to Alice Springs (about 915km – a full day’s drive), where you’ll want to quench your thirst at the Todd Tavern. The old-style corner pub is located across the road from the Todd River, the dry riverbed running through Alice’s heart. The view changes dramatically, though, if heavy rain falls in the catchment area. Luckily, the tavern’s liquid refreshments are more reliably available. For a more modern vibe, head three blocks south to Monte’s Lounge, which blurs the boundaries between pub and restaurant. Or chill out at the retro-styled rooftop bar above the Epilogue Lounge in the Todd Mall.
The heart of Australia
Your final destination on the world’s longest pub crawl is Uluru, another 460km (about 4.5 hours) down the Stuart and Lasseter highways. And Ayers Rock Resort, about 20km from the Rock, is where you’ll find the Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge, the closest thing to an outback pub experience in the area. At the Pioneer BBQ & Bar you can sizzle your own steak, kangaroo, emu sausages or barramundi on the barbecue – while the Outback Pioneer Kitchen does light meals at picnic-style tables. The hotel is at its most lively the night before the annual Uluru Camel Cup in late May when camels visit the pub. Punters bid on a beast they hope will win at the track the following day.
We encourage responsible service and responsible consumption of alcohol. And remember… don’t drink and drive.