Charlie the Water Buffalo – Adelaide River, Australia - Atlas Obscura
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Adelaide River, Australia

Charlie the Water Buffalo

The taxidermy remains of the mighty beast made famous by a Crocodile Dundee film. 

If you fancy a stubby after a day of hard yakka, best skull a coldie at the Adelaide River Inn with your new mate Charlie, who quietly tends bar. While you nurse a tinny, you may be buffaloed to learn that despite his rustic setting, he’s an international superstar.

Charlie the water buffalo made his name when he was gently subdued by Mick Dundee in the early scenes of Crocodile Dundee. Although Dundee had a rugged swashbuckling reputation, it wasn’t until he skillfully faced Charlie that Sue Charlton, the reporter writing about his adventures, was convinced his tales weren’t a croc. So it was really Charlie who solidified Dundee’s legend as fair dinkum.

Charlie was found as an orphaned calf in 1974 when water buffalo herds were being culled for having grown too large and destructive in the Australian outback. He was residing at a zoo when Hollywood came calling in 1985. He was later was purchased by the Adelaide River Inn, where he had his own wallowing hole and plenty of company from adoring fans.

Sadly, in May of 2000, Charlie caught pneumonia and had to be put down. His owner, Ian Cobb, reluctant to part with him, had Charlie stuffed and positioned on the bar of the inn where he continues to corral his admirers.

The inn itself was started in 1874 and has existed in various incarnations on both sides of the river ever since. It is currently located along the Stuart Highway which is the main route through the heart of Australia, running 1,800 miles from Darwin to Port Augusta and known colloquially as “The Track.” Charlie’s convenient location here is just one hour from Darwin, if you’re up for a short walkabout.

Know Before You Go

The Adelaide River Inn & Resort has a variety of motel rooms, cabins, and budget rooms you can stay in, as well as a caravan park, pool, bistro, and beer garden. The dining area is open daily from 7 a.m. until late.