The History and Stories of Stokes Hill Wharf

The History and Stories of Stokes Hill Wharf

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 03/03/2017

Reading time: 2 mins

Set on Darwin’s picturesque waterfront, the Stokes Hill Wharf acts as both a vital part of the city’s history. It’s a popular tourist area with al fresco restaurants, waterside bars, and shops.

Stokes Hill Wharf

Once the site of the city’s prominent pearling industry and the tragic Bombing of Darwin, the area is now a great place to learn key stories about Darwin. Unwind as the sun sets over the pretty views.

The History of the Wharf

In 1885, the Railway Jetty was built in the place the Stokes Hill Wharf now resides. It was smaller in size and was built specially to allow direct transfers between ships and trains in the area. It didn’t last long, though, as the weak timber that was used was eaten by termites. In 1904, the Railway Jetty was replaced by a design that quickly became known as Town Wharf.

The design didn’t last, but it gave the port of Darwin a good service until the 1942 during Japanese bombing raids. After the war, an attempt was made to reconstruct the wharf. However, it didn’t undergo its complete overhaul until 1961. The Stokes Hill Wharf that remains today began being built in 1953. Up until the construction of the New Fort Hill Wharf, it was the main general cargo wharf for the city.

Things to Do at Stokes Hill Wharf

As well as check out the selection of restaurants and shops, you can step back in time and learn more about the areas prominent history.

At the Bombing of Darwin attraction and the Royal Flying Doctor Service Facility, you can browse stories from the past. View virtual reality experiences and holographs in displays of cutting edge technology.

Elsewhere, you can enjoy panoramic sea views all year round from the wharf. Take in impressive sunsets, take part in fish feeding demonstrations as dusk falls, and listen to free live entertainment during the dry season on Wednesdays and Sundays.

The Stokes Hill Wharf is a key attraction if you’re looking to uncover the turbulent history of Darwin, right from its pearling days, through the war, up until its present reincarnation as a tourist city. Don’t forget to marvel at the views, too, which look out across the stunning expanse of ocean and beyond.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.