Since the early 1950s a unique and natural phenomena occurs on the high tide amongst the tranquil tropical waters of Darwin’s Doctors Gully… At Aquascene hundreds of friendly local wild fish swim to the shallow shoreline in search of a gratuitous meal of fresh bread. Over the course of this enduring 60 plus year tradition, the fish have shed their normal shyness and are willingly hand-fed to the delight of thousands of fascinated locals and tourists every year.
Due to the large tidal movements of Darwin’s harbour, which can be up to eight metres, the fish can only visit Aquascene for a few hours each day before returning back out to sea with the receding tide. How many fish you see is determined daily by tide size, wind and water clarity, breeding cycles and general seasonal weather conditions, but you will always see fish! Morning sessions are usually best, with fish numbers at their highest between December and August.
Regular daily fish visitors include an array of friendly and inquisitive milkfish, mullet, catfish, bream, batfish and barramundi. If you look carefully in the shallows a number of their other ‘shyer’ friends can also be seen outside of the ‘main mob’ who flock in closer to the feeding action. These can include rays, cod, mangrove jack, parrot and diamond fish.
You can choose to feed the fish from the comfort of the concrete stairs of the viewing platform or wade into the water and have them tickle your feet as they jostle over each other to take the bread from you!