Everyone said, “You have to go to Daily Waters.” We kept hearing it along the way. You have to go, so we did. Mmmm, maybe I am to old for this place. It just didn’t do anything for me. Don’t get me wrong. It was interesting in a different way. We walked around for a look at everything. It is really only the pub and several run down houses so it only took about 2 minutes. The pub did look lovely and inviting.
When we walked inside we discovered it is filled with everything. Adrian said it is iconic. For me it looked like a mess. There are T shirts, stubby holders, badges, hats, and bras hanging over everything. There is more to the list but I am sure you get the picture. If you can leave it behind, you can hang it. I guess it is fun but I kept on seeing the cobwebs, spiders and dust instead.
They do like their signs as well.
We were having some drinks at the bar when we realized we needed to book in for dinner. Another thing we had been told about was their steaks and Barra dinners were something not to miss. Most people were of the same mind and the only times left for a booking were 7:30 or 8 pm (starting at 6, every half hour, about 20 each seating.) We didn’t miss it and it didn’t disappoint. We ordered half and half (half steak and half fish.) The chief cook was outside in the dining area. The aromas put us in the mood for dinner. The steak would have been one of the best I have tasted (I order steak a lot.) The Barra was grilled, lovely. I don’t know which I liked best. There is live entertainment every night. We sat back and enjoyed dinner and the music. Ok, ok, I did like the pub after all.
Daily Waters has a caravan park and there is also a bush camp as well. We chose not to go to either one and after dinner drove to the old airbase. It is not an official stop, but as long as you don’t block the way into the airstrip there is no problem staying there the night. (We had pulled in there early on in the day to have a quick look before continuing on to daily waters.) In the morning we had a closer look at the buildings. The airstrip is leftover from the war, it is still used today but only in the case of an emergencies
The airport started out as a commensal airport with the first fare paying passengers boarding in 1935. It became an important part of the war effete as a refueling station for planes flying cross-country or on to the Dutch East Indies. I don’t know if it was a very popular place as the information board quotes, “Daly Waters was the pits! There was nothing there. The drinking water was bore water – you could smell it, and even the tea wouldn’t disguise it.” “The flies were out of this world. If you did have a mosquito net you’d wake up and could hardly see out for the masses of flies waiting for you to get up.” Poor guys.
That wasn’t the worse of it. For one reason or another the base always seemed to lack spare parts. Despite this the men did their job and air raids continued over enemy lands. In 1994 Daly Waters Aviation Complex was declared a heritage place.
We weren’t the only ones to spend the night at the airstrip. In the morning there were 4 other vans.