A mecca for fishing and an abundance of ecosystems, hot springs, gorges, walks, and swimming holes - The Daly River region is popular with lovers of the outdoors.
The Daly River region is popular with lovers of the outdoors. Pack a fishing rod and your camping gear to experience its hot springs, gorges, walks, swimming holes and famous barramundi fishing.
A fishing & camping destination
Join a fishing charter from Darwin, stay at a riverside fishing lodge or hire a boat to bag the fish that’s coveted by anyone who likes to cast a line – the barramundi. Each dry season there are two week-long fishing competitions held on the Daly. Enter to vie for the prize of the biggest fish and to gain an insight into the unique Territory fishing scene.
Set up camp at one the area’s many picturesque sites and you’re bound to meet some of the characters this region attracts and share the day’s catch over a campfire.
Things to see & do along the Daly River
Aboriginal arts centre
Call in at the modern Merrepen Arts Centre at Nauiyu to watch local Aboriginal artists creating their work. Choose something to take home from the acrylic and silk paintings, screen prints, hand-printed fabric, weaving and cards on sale.
Stop to wander around the remains of a Jesuit mission to glean something of the life of the missionaries who lived there from 1886 to 1889. At the site of a disused mine you can see abandoned machinery and the graves of four workers who dug for copper here after it was discovered in 1883.
Hot springs, waterholes & gorges
Head east to the ‘Douglas Daly’ area, where the Douglas and Daly rivers meet and create amazing natural attractions.
Have a soak in the sandy-floored Douglas Hot Springs and listen to the call of birds of the tropical woodlands.
Jump in a four-wheel drive vehicle to negotiate the track into beautiful Butterfly Gorge Nature Park, where a swimming hole is surrounded by towering paperbarks and sheer rock faces that attract large populations of butterflies.
- Four Wheel Driving
Where is Daly River and how do you get there?
Located just outside the Litchfield National Park, Daly River is approximately a 3.5-hour drive from both Darwin and Katherine.
To get to Daly River from Darwin, head south along the Stuart Highway until you reach Dorat road. Follow Dorat road onto Daly River road then turn right and follow Wooliana road for 4.2km.
What’s special about Daly River?
Daly River is a part of the Douglas River and Daly River region and is perfect for outdoor lovers. Located 220km from Darwin, Daly River is a classic NT road trip stop with thermal springs, gorges, walking trails, incredible fishing and iconic historical venues such as the world famous Daly Water’s Pub.
When is the best time to visit?
If you visit in the dry season (May to October), days are warm and sunny and the nights are cooler. Average daily maximums range from 21°C to 32°C.
If you visit during the wet season (November to April), days are more humid with heavy rainfall, expect incredible lighting storms that are captivating to watch. Average daily maximums range from 25°C to 33°C.
Visit our main article for more weather information.
Can you camp at Daly River?
Yes, camping facilities are available but fees may apply.
What are the best things to see and do in Daly River?
Take a fishing tour along the Daly River which is well known for being stocked with huge barramundi and the local fishing charters will show you all the hotspots. The Tjuwaliyn (Douglas) Hot Springs are some of the best known springs in the Northern Territory. Experience incredible thermal hot springs or seek out a cooler pool if it’s a warm day. Merrepen Arts is a well-established art centre that feature around 20 aboriginal artists who work to create traditional art and craft pieces.
Where else can I visit on my way to Daly River?
Humpty Doo is just 38km south of Darwin, see the well-known ‘Boxing Crocodile’ or stop for a meal at the iconic ‘Humpty Doo Tavern’. Howard Springs Nature Park is just 28km South of Darwin and this is a great place to stop for a break, explore the swimming spots or have a meal. There’s an abundance of wildlife to see and picnic facilities available. Along the way you’ll pass Adelaide River located approximately 115km out of Darwin. The small township is a great place to stop for a meal and has the Adelaide River War Cemetery.
Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park is 60km from Katherine and is one of the most spectacular places in the NT, with massive park offers, sensational scenery, amazing aboriginal art and incredible swimming areas. Leliyn (Edith) Falls is not far away and this popular water hole in the Katherine region hosts camping grounds, walking trails and of course incredible places to swim. Past Pine Creek and 130km from Katherine is the popular Tjuwaliyn/Douglas Hot Springs Park where thermal pools create an oasis for camping and swimming in the surrounding dry woodland.