Barra-less in Daly River

Where: Daly River, Northern Territory
Permits: None
Costs: We stayed at ‘Perry’s on the Daly’ – $34 per night. Awesome spot.
Difficulty: Moderate – long gravel road into Perry’s.
Days required to do it justice: Anywhere from 2 days to 3weeks. Depends on the fish, the view, the weather…

They said it was “THE” place to catch a barramundi. And not just any barra. A “BIG” barra. They even hold the Barra Nationals and the Barra Classic here. “That’s it”, we thought, “let’s head for Daly River”. After throwing a rod in just about everywhere else in Northern Australia and getting very little response this had to be the best place to go and at only a few hours from Katherine it was within our reach.

When Dick at ‘Perry’s on the Daly’ greeted us with the words ‘there’s no fish in the Northern Territory, don’t believe what anyone tells you’ , our Barra hopes were well and truly dashed. At this years ‘Barra Classic’ 67 boats containing 3 fishermen each caught (and released) a meagre 47 fish. Last year they caught and released 3000. However with the power of positive thinking we decided to stay for a night which turned into three.

Still fishing

Still fishing

The Daly River is a beautiful, calm looking river (in the Dry) which belts through the land during the Wet season causing all kinds of chaos. Basically the only safe place to swim here is in the shower what with 5m crocs lurking pretty much everywhere and bullsharks picking up any scraps they leave behind. At Perry’s its possible to throw a lure in from the banks at a safe croc distance and to also take a tinny out on the billabong which is on their five acre property (still not a single bite there other than a mozzie bite).

A local croc

A local croc

In short, the town of Daly River serves the nearby Aboriginal Community and has a small but useful shop and pub with good food. It’s the fishing ‘resorts’ nearby such as Perry’s which are the draw here and provide an excellent bush camping getaway. Perry’s has toilets, showers and a pool (safe swimming!) and is surrounded by tall palm, mango and mahogany trees which provide heaps of shade. We were lucky to be the only people camping here but there’s still enough space to not feel crowded on a busy day here. The photography opportunities abound both for landscape and wildlife photographers – sadly the cane toad has made a significant impact on the native animal population here but the birdlife is still impressive.

With views like this who cares about the fish

With views like this who cares about the fish

We are assured that next year the fishing will be back to normal but with or without fish its well worth a look around the area.

The only fish we saw during our fishing escapade in the Daly River

The only fish we saw during our fishing escapade in the Daly River

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