Darwin Port Corporation
The Darwin Wharf Precinct is not only one of the most well known attractions in town is it also one of the best land-based fishing spots in Darwin.
The Brolga Award winning Stokes Hill Wharf is a symbol of the growing Top End’s development – linking the history of its colourful past to modern day living and pointing its directions to the future with the further redevelopment of the surrounding waterfront areas.
The history of the Wharf dates back to the early 1800s with the arrival of European settlers. They soon established the overland telegraph by laying cable from Java to Darwin. The hard work of the early settlers and pioneers soon was paid off with the rewards of the goldrush and the pastoral industry which determined the fate of Darwin.
On 19th February 1942, the Japanese bombed Darwin, with the Wharf bearing the full force of the invasion. Many ships and amphibious planes were sunk and many civilians, service personnel and waterside workers lost their lives.
Withstanding the hardships and tragedies of its perilous past, the Wharf survived only to be under attack again by the forces of Cyclone Tracy in 1974.
Regardless, the Wharf Precinct area is now an important contributor to the Territory’s economy by providing a world class cruise ship berth at Fort Hill Wharf and servicing leisure craft, fishing vessels and smaller commercial vessels at Stokes Hill Wharf. Not forgetting of course, the international and Australian naval vessels who are regular visitors to Fort Hill.
There are a wide range of eateries at the wharf featuring many national and international dishes. You may make your selection and eat next to the pristine waters of Darwin Harbour under a canopy of a million stars whilst watching the barramundi, batfish, dolphins and many other species of fish that gather under the lights in the aquatic reserve. There is also a licensed takeaway bar in the eatery and a dedicated dessert shop. The tropical sea breezes make this a very popular outdoor venue for locals and visitors alike.
Those wishing to sample the best in seafood, try dining at the award winning a la carte seafood restaurant, right at the end of the wharf. An extensive menu and variety of wines are available.
There is also a local handcrafted south sea pearl jewellery shop which has a display of both local and international pearls and other tempting jewellery.
Many wharf visitors enjoy the opportunity to relax and during the Dry season there is live entertainment on Wednesday, Sunday and some other ad hoc evenings.
There are a number of harbour cruises operating from the Wharf where cruisers may make their choice from experiencing sailing in modern catamarans, a pearling lugger or dining on board well equipped schooners whilst they meander around one of Australia’s largest harbours.
The Wharf is also popular for viewing tropical storms during the Wet and spectacular sunsets during the Dry.