Douglas Daly and The Daly River are in fact two separate localities
some 111 km apart. The small settlements are off the Stuart Highway
between Katherine and Tennant Creek. They are is little more than a
tiny pub with a few air conditioned motel style units, a police
station, and a free caravan park.
“The Daly” as the locals fondly refer to the River,
begins where the Katherine and Flora Rivers intersect and flows across
the north western portion of the Northern Territory to the Timor Sea.
It encompasses the Daly River and the Douglas Daly Region. The Daly
River is famous for its large barramundi and has proven to be one of
the most popular waterways for recreational fishing and boating. There
are two major annual fishing competitions on the Daly – the
“Barra Classic” and the “Barra Nationals”. A
number of properties along the river offer camping and accommodation
facilities, food, fuel (not reliable), boat hire, fishing tours and
Location: 224 km south of Darwin; 212 metres above sea level.
Places of Interest
The Arches and The Waterhole are located near Douglas Daly Tourist
Park and are a part of the Douglas River Esplanade Conservation Area
that protects part of the Douglas River and its riverine wildlife. It
is an amazing place for natural formations of rocks, thermal pools,
spa's and tufa's. Fishing and camping is available along the esplanade.
Swimming is not recommended due to the presence of Saltwater Crocodiles.
Butterfly Gorge Nature Park
Butterfly Gorge Nature Park is 17km further on from the Douglas Hot
Springs. The last few kilometres are for 4WD vehicles only. After a
short walk you can swim in the rock pools and marvel at the paperbark
trees that tower up to 50 metres in height. The park is known for the
thousands of butterflies that seek shelter in the crevices of the sheer
rock faces of this beautiful gorge. No pets, no camping. Note, the
butterflies are not in masses all year round.
Oolloo Crossing has proven to be an excellent spot for Barramundi
fishing in the early dry and for Black Bream all year round. It is a
big river crossing which is now longer used by motor vehicles,
particularly after rains. Being on the Daly River, it is a great
fishing spot away from the crowds of the Daly River Area. There is
camping available, but with no amenities it is therefore it is bush
camping. In the dry season the road is accessible with 2WD vehicles.
Swimming is not permitted due to the presence of Saltwater Crocodiles.
Fenton World War II airfield and aircraft graveyard
Fenton airfield was a World War II bomber base until it was
abandoned in 1945. It was mainly utilised by Liberator bombers mounting
long range raids against Japanese forces in the Netherlands East Indies
North Western Area of Operations and the South West Pacific Area. The
site is an outstanding example of a World War II heavy bomber airfield
construction and layout, and is one of three surviving examples of
heavy bomber airfields in the Katherine-Darwin region.
During its operational use Fenton Airfield was a major airfield,
being headquarters for many Royal Australian Air Force Squadrons, and
United States Army and Air Force units. Reconnaissance flights were
flown over Timor Island, New Guinea and Celebres Islands, and attacks
and armed reconnaissance missions were carried out against Japanese
airfields, ground installations and shipping. On 29 February 1944 the
USAAF 380th Bombardment Group flew a 16-hour mission from Fenton to
Borneo, flying over 2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km; 2,900 mi).
Some aircraft pieces survive in the aircraft graveyard but the
larger pieces were melted down at the end of World War II for their
aluminium. A B24 Liberator tail was near complete in the 1980s but over
the years it has been cut down by people with no sense of history
trying out their cutting tools on aluminium. Fenton Airfield is located
at Tipperary Station, Hayes Creek, Northern Territory. The airfield is
open to the public; the main runway, taxiways and hardstands are
accessible. Remnants of the control tower remain and items of aircraft
wreckage can be found in the area. In aerial photographs, the remains
of some roads that probably led to dispersed parts of the base away
from the operations area such as the bomb dump and the administrative
containment area are faintly visible, but no structures exist.