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In 1862 John Mcdouall Stuart successfully crossed the continent from south to north. After breaking through the Lance wood scrub that thwarted his previous attempts Stuart discovered fresh water. This area was given the name Daly Waters in honour of the then governor of South Australia Sir Dominic Daly.
Fresh water was vital for droving and Daly Waters was the last watering hole before the perilous Murranji Stock Route. When the Durak brothers drove their entire herd from Queensland to the West Australian coast, Daly Waters was a landmark stop. The cattle were rested and the men quenched their thirst, today, that traditions still stands although caravans and backpackers have replaced the drovers and cattle.
The telegraph line followed Stuart's route north, the untamed environment caused the project to fall behind schedule which resulted in the Pony Express being used between Daly Waters and Tennant Creek 400kms south of Daly Waters. An original telegraph pole dating back to approx 1878 was found out bush in 2009 and is now erected outside the pub.
Despite common belief Daly Waters was never built on the highway. Bill Pearce, a local tin miner,and his wife Hennrietta, in 1930, built a store to service travellers, settlers and drovers and later air passengers en route to London. The Pub was given a jug license in 1938.
Prior to the 2nd. World War, Daly Waters was the site for the first International Airport in Australia and refuelled planes and passengers en route to London. The trip cost 275 pounds and took 8 days. The Pearces played mine hosts feeding and providing overnight accommodation for the travellers. Bill was also responsible for refuelling the planes. These days The Daly Waters aerodrome is in semi-retirement with private aircraft,mining exploration companies and Air-Med (Remote Area Medical Service) constituting the bulk of the traffic.
During World War 2 Daly Waters played a significant part in the protection of the Northern Australian coastline. The Australian and American air forces were based here along with Mitchell Bombers, Kitty Hawks and a fighter squadron.
Today, the pub is still a welcome destination for travellers. The pub is renown for it's service, hospitality, great food and cold,cold beer. Memorabilia adorns the walls from Irish football jerseys to bras. Wherever you look there is something interesting to read or ponder its origin.