Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 1 million properties and 550 airlines worldwide

Members save 10% more on select hotels, cars and activities. Sign up.

Free cancellation on most hotels. Because flexibility matters.

Aquascene

Head to Doctors Gully at high tide to see a natural phenomenon turned tourist attraction, as shoals of fish come to the shallow waters to be fed by hand.

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.


Guide to Exploring Aquascene


Top Aquascene Flight & Hotel Packages

Top Aquascene Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 165 properties near Aquascene
Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel AU$97
Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel

Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel

31 Woods Street, Darwin, NT
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Darwin City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Smith Street Mall and Darwin Waterfront. Mindil Beach and Cullen Bay Marina are also within 3 miles (5 km).

    Mantra on the Esplanade AU$119
    Mantra on the Esplanade

    Mantra on the Esplanade

    88 The Esplanade, Darwin, NT
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Darwin City Centre, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of The Esplanade and Darwin Waterfront. Mindil Beach and Cullen Bay Marina are also within 2 miles (3 km).

      Novotel Darwin CBD AU$125
      Novotel Darwin CBD

      Novotel Darwin CBD

      100 The Esplanade, Darwin, NT
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Darwin City Centre, this beach hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of The Esplanade and Darwin Waterfront. Mindil Beach and Cullen Bay Marina are also within 2 miles (3 km).

        Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin AU$124
        Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin

        Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin

        6 Carey Street, Darwin, NT
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Darwin City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Smith Street Mall, Maningrida Arts & Culture and Darwin Waterfront. Crocosaurus Cove and Wave Lagoon are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Palms City Resort AU$99
          Palms City Resort

          Palms City Resort

          64 Esplanade, Darwin, NT
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Darwin City Centre, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of The Esplanade and Darwin Waterfront. Mindil Beach and Cullen Bay Marina are also within 2 miles (3 km).

            H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel AU$110
            H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel

            H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel

            105 Mitchell Street, Darwin, NT
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Darwin, this aparthotel is steps away from Darwin Entertainment Centre.

              Darwin City Hotel AU$84
              Darwin City Hotel

              Darwin City Hotel

              59 Smith Street, Darwin, NT
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Darwin City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Crocosaurus Cove, The Esplanade and Parliament House. Bicentennial Park and Government House are also within 15 minutes.

                Darwin-ocean Views, Tropical Getaway, Pool & Airocn
                Darwin-ocean Views, Tropical Getaway, Pool & Airocn

                Darwin-ocean Views, Tropical Getaway, Pool & Airocn

                61/10 Doctors Gully Rd, Larrakeyah, NT
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Darwin City Centre, this apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of The Esplanade, Mindil Beach and Cullen Bay Marina. Darwin Waterfront is 1.3 mi (2.2 km) away.