What’s Up Downunder editor-at-large Alison and partner Peter Huth visit an iconic Territory destination following its reopening last year.
About four years ago the Bark Hut Inn closed down, it had been on the market for a while, but hadn’t sold, so closed. It was sold a couple of years later, but still didn’t re-open. It seems there was a lot to be done to get it ready again.
Well, let me tell you, it is ready. About mid 2020 it re-opened. We have never been there before and decided to have a stop between leaving Jabiru and getting to Darwin. Three choices, and we chose this one.
It is four businesses rolled into one. There is a servo, ‘local store’-style shop, bar/bistro and a caravan park. There were so many things that impressed all of us, such as the fridge, that it is hard to work out which was is the most impressive.
A few bowsers, all so easy to get to with van attached. Built to purpose!
LOCAL STORE-STYLE SHOP
This is a huge space with lots of shelves. They are not really full at the moment but there is a very good range of basic products. As the business grows the shelves will fill up. They also have a coffee machine in this area, which makes a pretty good coffee. They also run the caravan park from this part of the business.
The park, as it is, is fine. We had lovely pull through sites, on an angle which make it easy to get in and out. The amenities are interesting and very usable. There are two blocks, one by the bar and one in the park area. Use either, they are fine, old and quirky, but incredibly clean. There are plans for the caravan park to increase the size of it and make a new part from scratch.
BAR AND BISTRO
This is a massive area and I can just imagine it being the setting for an amazing wedding with style, a major birthday party – anything that needs a big space with good food and drinks. There is beer on tap but let me tell you about the Apple Crush–a cider on tap. The bartender was kind enough to give Majella and me a taste and that was all it took. Suddenly, we were sitting down with a middy of Apple Crush Cider in front of us. It was the very best cider I have ever drunk.
The only problem with this is that it is only available at the Bark Hut Inn. Everyone else was happy with their choice, including Jayne who also went with the cider.
It’s not often that you talk about the fridge/cold room, but you need to here. It is massive and so well designed. There is one L shaped cold room that has one arm in the bar, with service doors all over to get to the drinks. The other arm is in the store, with access from the shop for the products they have in there. There is plenty of storage space that will make it possible to feed and lubricate an army when everything is running at 100%.
AND THERE’S MORE!
While we were there, we went for a drive and saw some wonderful spots along the Mary River. The whole area is lush and green because of the monsoon season. The rivers are full, everything is growing and happy. Just in case you think it might be good to have a paddle, were saw a croc at one spot along the river. The water around here is great to look at, but not good to try out.
The people behind the new Bark Hut Inn have clearly spent a lot of time, and money, on refreshing this place. When we are back in this neighbourhood again, we will be back–and not just for the Apple Crush Cider!