Port Darwin will play an important role in the nation’s future growth. It has been the major cattle export port for many years and is becoming the regional base for oil and gas. It is connected to the rest of Australia through the network of road and rail and to the rest of the world by sea and a modern international airport.
In 2006-2007, Port Darwin handled 1.5 million tons of cargo on 4,717 vessel calls, including over 819 thousand tons of imports and almost 642 thousand tons of exports. Imports were dominated by petroleum, automotive distillates, other fuels, dry bulk, and cement. Overseas exports were dominated by manganese, dry bulk, and livestock.
Port Darwin’s facilities can accommodate the full range of cargoes. The Iron Ore Wharf has a berth 142 meters long with east and west mooring dolphin and alongside depth of 11.8 meters.
The concrete-decked Fort Hill Wharf is 300 meters long and has multi-user berths with a depth of 11 meters. It includes a high-capacity floating roll-on/roll-off linkspan. Fort Hill East is a 150-meter berth with 10-meter depth and additional deck-loading capacity. The Roll-on/roll-off linkspan at the western end of the wharf can handle 45-ton loads from vessels of any size or type.
Port Darwin’s Stokes Hill Wharf is concrete decked with multi-user berths used by cruise ships, charter vessels, naval vessels, oil rig tender vessels, and the fishing and pearling fleet. The wharf has total berth length of 292 meters and alongside depth of 9 meters. The Inner Stokes Hill Wharf can handle vessels up to 70 meters, such as research vessels, prawn trawlers, pleasure boats, and tug. It offers 280 meters of berth and low-water depth of 4.5 meters. The Stokes Hill Wharfs are equipped with power, water, and fuel outlets.
The Darwin Fishing Harbor and Mooring Basin in Frances Bay offers sheltered moorings for the fishing fleet and supply and repair facilities. Protected from the tide, the basin is dredged and offers 85 berths as well as showers, toilets, and public phones.
Fisherman’s Wharf offers a piled wharf of 200 meters. The wharf is dredged and can accommodate as many as 18 30-meter vessels. It is equipped with shore power, fresh water, telephone service, public toilets and showers, and fuel supplies.
The Port Darwin Wharf Precinct is located at the western end of Stokes Hill Wharf. The Precinct is a 1750-square meter complex containing tourist facilities, restaurants, and shops. The wharf also contains a large $1.5 million facility with 840 square meters of air-conditioned decking and a 160-square meter external deck with covered walkways.