Not even a dot on a decently sized map, this place is simply a speed bump on the road between Darwin and Katherine in the Northern Territory of Australia. A favourite place in times gone by for the wallopers to sit with their clever little boxes and catch unsuspecting drivers who didn't notice the sudden and carefully-obscured-by-a-small-rise 60 sign. Not so much a township as, well, actually in those days it was just a pub and a petrol bowser.

These days o'course it's all been tarted up. Styles itself "Hayes Creek Wayside Inn And Caravan Park" or "Hayes Creek Roadhouse" depending on who you talk to. Caters to the tourist trade, and sells overpriced petrol to revheads on Australia's only un-speed-limited highway. The PULP goes pretty quick at 200+. How times change!

In the seventies the name of this pub was an effective euphamism much beloved by Territorian parents for everything evil:

  • "Where'd you learn to eat with your hands, Hayes Creek Pub?!"
  • "That's the kind of language I'd only expect to hear at Hayes Creek Pub young man!"
This worked until you actually went there, when you realised it was only dark and dirty in the most literal sense and also incredibly boring. People would start fights in the "good old days" just for something to do. The big nights were "pay" nights when the jackaroos and jillaroos from the surrounding stations would come in for a good old fashioned piss-up.

The best ever story to come out of Hayes Creek Pub is surely the true story of Davo (Australian English for "David" - pronounced Dave-oh) and his mate Blue (Australian English for anyone with red hair). I tell it here exactly as it was told to me by the head stockman on Ban Ban Springs Station when I was seven years old. If you are offended by "colourful" language, please look away now!

So Blue's havin' a drink with Davo, right? The muster is done and they're bloody tired of station food. The missus, right, her cookin' is not much chop. And so they're down at Hayes Creek puttin' a few away at the bar with a couple of steak sangers, at least Blue's havin' sangers and Davo, well he likes a pie. Well he did like a pie anyway. But I'm gettin' ahead of meself.

So they've bin there what, four or five hours anyway and they've been going pretty steady. An' Davo lifts his beer and says to Blue "I've got something for ya, mate." An' Blue says "Wot?" An' Davo doesn't say nothin'. He just grins and sorta leans over the other way, and lets one out.

Now it's not a fuckin' "excuse me" this one. It's a great fuckin' loud, three weeks on the missus' beans, national-bloody-anthem, dack wrecker. I mean it smelt the place up, bad. The bartender reckons he was gunna call in Davo's tab, save what happened next.

So anyway, Blue doesn't say nothin'. He just gets up, cool as you please, and walks outside. He's out there for a while and Davo is kinda laughin' to himself. Then Blue walks back inside and he's carryin' somethin'.

Now it's pretty bright outside and it's pretty dark inside and Davo can't see what it is. That's when Blue points both barrels of his shotty straight at Davo's chest and says "Fart in my beer will ya, ya ****?" and lets him have the good news. Boom. Davo's dead. Apparently, coz I wasn't there you understand, but they tell me Blue's still sittin' there drinkin' his beer when the cops come.

For interest I verified this story almost 20 years later with a Darwin magistrate and found out that Blue is indeed serving life for the murder of his erstwhile drinking companion. Apparently the second barstool on the left hand side as you come in the door is the one.

Impartial says: Heh, I had a friend worked here for a while in the 90's. Twas still kinda scary then!

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