Hand Feed Fish at Aquascene, Doctors Gully, Darwin

Aquascene at Doctors Gully in Darwin is a popular tourist attraction where huge numbers of fish swim to the shore to be hand fed at high tide. The fish feeding has been taking place since 1950s. It all started when a local resident started to feed mullet from the shore. Over the years more and more fish joined in the feeding, and other species such milkfish, catfish, bream and other species joined the mullet. The current owners bought the property in 1979 and maintained the feeding as a hobby for the next two years before making it a commercial operation due to public demand for better information and better viewing facilities.

Now at high tide, hundreds of fish including mullet, milkfish, bream, catfish and barramundi come into the shallows to be fed. The fish are packed close together as they jostle for food and come close enough to touch. Many other species such as rays, mangrove jack, cod and diamond fish can also be seen lurking in the shallow waters. The numbers of fish that arrive varies each day according to the tide, season and weather conditions. Morning feeding sessions are usually best, and fish numbers are highest between December and August.

Aquascene staff will give you bread to feed the fish. You can wade out into the water to hand feed the fish from at the bottom of a long sloping ramp. There is seating is available if you want to watch from the sidelines, or throw food from a distance. There is a small kiosk on the site selling cold drinks, ice creams and souvenirs.

Aquascene is located at 28 Doctors Gully Road in Darwin. The attraction is open every day, tides and weather permitting (except Christmas Day). Opening time is dependent on the high tide time and varies from day to day. Aquascene is open for about two or three hours around the high tide. You need to check with Aquascene when it will be open on the day you plan to visit. Opening times are printed in local publications, and should be available from your accommodation or Darwin tourist information centres.

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