For more than 60 years wild fish have gathered to Doctors Gully, attracted by an easy meal. Darwin Harbour’s large tidal movements, which can reach up to 8 metres (26 feet), bring large numbers of fish close to shore for a few hours at a time. Doctors Gully is an official marine sanctuary and these fish are protected. The wild fish are now accustomed to people, and many will feed right from your hand.
Aquascene facilitates the feeding of these inquisitive creatures. The centre provides visitors with bread and has established some shallow platforms out of the way of stingrays, where you can stand with the fish swimming around your feet.
Several species are regulars at the feedings. Spot the toothless milkfish, which can grow over a metre (3 feet) long, and see the impressive whiskers of the catfish. Feed the diamond-scaled mullet, who are usually not afraid to nibble on the bread in your outstretched hand. Rays, rock cod, and colourful parrotfish are shyer, but you can sometimes see those species lurking behind the more inquisitive visitors of the bay.
Aquascene’s guides are on hand to help identify the fish species, so you’ll be able to name the fish you met afterwards.
When the tide runs out, the fish follow the water back out to the Timor Sea. Before you leave, browse the Aquascene kiosk for keepsakes such as children’s colouring-in books, magnets and T-shirts. The gardens around Aquascene are also worth a stroll: you can see orchids there, within a tropical rainforest setting.
Doctors Gully is located just off Darwin’s esplanade, an easy walk from the city centre. The fish feeding usually lasts for about an hour. Morning sessions between December and August are best if you want to see very large numbers of fish. Bring sunscreen and a hat, because there is not much shade available. It’s also a good idea to wear waterproof sandals if you want to wade in amongst the fish.
Located in Darwin City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Smith Street Mall and Darwin Waterfront. Cullen Bay Marina is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) away.
Oaks Élan DarwinAU$119
Located in Darwin City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Smith Street Mall and Darwin Waterfront. Cullen Bay Marina is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) away.
Rydges Darwin CentralAU$116
This family-friendly Darwin hotel is located by the sea, within 1 mi (2 km) of The Esplanade and Darwin Waterfront. Cullen Bay Marina is 1.2 mi (2 km) away.
DoubleTree by Hilton DarwinAU$174
Located in the heart of Darwin, this aparthotel is steps from Darwin Entertainment Centre.
H on Mitchell Apartment HotelAU$155
Located in Darwin City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of The Esplanade and Darwin Waterfront. Cullen Bay Marina is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) away.
DoubleTree by Hilton Darwin EsplanadeAU$174
Located in Darwin City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Cathedral and Darwin Waterfront. Cullen Bay Marina is 1.6 ...
Argus Hotel DarwinAU$140
Located in Darwin City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of The Esplanade, Darwin Entertainment Centre, and Crocosaurus Cove. The USS Peary Memorial ...
H on Smith HotelAU$139
Located in Darwin City Centre, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Cathedral, Darwin Waterfront, and Cullen Bay Marina. The ...
Darwin City Edge Motel & SuitesAU$99
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
* Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. All rates are displayed in USD unless otherwise noted. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency.