Larrimah Wayside Inn
Larrimah Wayside Inn, about 431km from Darwin and 158 southeast of Katherine on the Stuart Highway, is renowned for its colourful publicans who epitomise the Northern Territory. The sign on the gate says: “Icy Cold Beer” which, after a long drive, is a popular drawcard for many. But if the fantastic yarns and the refreshments alone are not enough of a reason to stay, Larrimah Wayside Inn Caravan Park has plenty.
With a swimming pool, spa and kiosk/store, the park is a tempting place to stay. The park provides shady powered and unpowered sites that are dog-friendly and there’s a friendly camp kitchen where you can swap travel tales with other guests about your trip to the Top End. There’s also a laundry to wash the dust from your gear.
Larrimah was the railhead on the North Australia Railway during World War II transporting troops by rail to Darwin, and the No 45 Australian Camp Hospital was established there. The town served as the railhead until the line closed in 1976, and the pub, the Pink Panther originally located 9km south, moved into Larrimah on the site of the Larrimah Wayside Inn.
Larrimah Wayside Inn is also the site of the Great Stubby, which for travellers too long on the road, emerges like a mirage from the red dirt. Larrimah Wayside Inn restaurant is famous for its home-made pies which are freshly baked every morning. The restaurant offers Aussie staples for breakfast, lunch and dinner including hamburgers and a seafood basket – and dessert of course. Guests are invited to sit by the campfire with a cold beverage and watch the staff cook in a camp oven or spit roast and experience some authentic Northern Territory hospitality. You may even run into one of the 47 Larrimah locals who can tell you some tales about the place. It’s probably worth noting though that you’ll need to stock up on fuel either 76km north at Mataranka or 100km south at Daly Waters.