By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
The Daly Waters Pub, a must-visit venue for travellers through the Northern Territory, has been sold.
Located 600 km south of Darwin, The Daly Waters Pub is an outback pub off Stuart Highway – a stop on the way to Alice Springs from the territory’s capital. A real favourite with passers-through, The Daly Waters Pub has received AHA NT’s Best Wayside Inn award a total of eight times since 2005.
Publicans Lindsay Carmichael and Robyne Webster have owned and operated the pub for 18 years, and decided that it’s time to retire and move to Darwin, before embarking on some overseas travel.
The pub is known for its heaving collection of memorabilia from visitors, who in the late 80s started up a tradition of leaving something at the pub to commemorate their visit. The knick knacks that adorn the walls include artificial limbs, surfboards, lingerie and an Irish hurling stick, to name a few among hundreds. There’s even a disused helicopter now sitting atop the shed of the pub.
“We endeavour to keep it in an orderly fashion, a bit like a department store. As we have no windows the maintenance is crucial – daily dusting and de-cobwebbing are essential. All is taken down every six months and laundered. Whatever survives goes back up. Most male employees volunteer to wash the lingerie,” said Webster.
The freehold going concern included the pub with its bistro, a large caravan park, cabin park, motel and service station. The total land area is 19,930 sqm.
Steve Liebelt of Ruralco Property handled the sale. He wouldn’t disclose the price paid, but the property was listed for $4 million plus stock. The buyer is said to be a businessman from South Australia with interests in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
While remote, the pub enjoys plenty of patronage, both from Daly Waters locals and from tourists who have heard of its legendary reputation. Liebelt expects the buyer to use this to their advantage.
“While some may consider the pub being remote this is one of its strengths and with a major service and population centre at Katherine only some two hours’ drive away, nobody is ever far from all services.”
The new owner is expected to take over operations in November.