The Darwin Hookers Ball: The Wildest Party in Australia?

If you are looking for a naughty adult party in the Northern Territory then you may have heard about the infamous Darwin Hooker Ball.

Not to be confused with a fishermen’s party that sometimes goes by the same name, this themed over-18s event was an annual celebration of Darwin’s adult nightlife. The Darwin Hookers Ball has been welcoming kinky revellers for an evening of debauchery and mischief since the late 80s. The event hasn’t been held since 2017 but, even though there are current no plans to revive it, it still has an almost legendary reputation in the city.

In this guide, we take a look at the history of the Darwin Hookers Ball and why the event got so much attention in the press.

What is the Darwin Hookers Ball?

The first Hookers Ball in Darwin took place in 1987 at Derby’s Nightclub in Cavenagh Street and became an iconic event in the city’s annual social calendar. Since then, the event has been held at a number of locations including The Vic Hotel, Opium Nightclub and Discovery night club with the 2017 thirtieth anniversary party hosted by Monsoons on Mitchell Street.

Greg Holbrook took over the event organisation in 1988 and ran the parties annually for a further 16 years before the Ball went ‘underground’. The Ball was usually held in the first weekend of December.

Since then, the Hookers Ball has been a sporadic party on the city’s scene with the last party taking place in 2017 to celebrate its 30-year anniversary. The birthday celebration was organised by PartyHard Darwin who have no current plans to relaunch the event.

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The last Hookers Ball in Darwin was held in 2017. Image via DTIX.

Billed as the city’s raunchiest and naughtiest night of the year, the party was initially launched to target guests from the LGBTQ community but it quickly attracted a wider audience. Over the last 30 years, the Hookers Ball has welcomed people from all walks of life including drag queens, fetishists, swingers and even some celebrities.

Guests were invited to dress (or barely dress!) to impress in their most daring outfits, celebrating diversity and encouraging creativity in how to get away with the most daring of outfits, whilst remaining inside the law. The jury is out as to whether this was always achieved as the event was often in the press, not just for the behaviour of guests but for their outfits… or lack thereof. From the sleazy to the downright seditious, there was often a cash prize for the raunchiest of costumes.

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Cash prizes were usually on offer to entice guests to go ‘all out’ on their costumes. Image via DTIX.

And guests never disappointed with some curious but effective use of feathers, leather, whips, lace, body paint, and even cardboard over the years. Some ticket holders tailor-made their own outfits whilst others ‘doctored’ some classic costumes.

Memorable attire includes the two guests who wore penis costumes in the style of Bananas in Pyjamas with P1 and P2 embroidered on their PJs. However, mankinis, ass-less chaps, lingerie and posing pouches were always a popular fallback option.

Inside, the event was themed to match the outrageousness of the guest’s clothes and past décor has included a bondage bed, fetish play equipment and some very ‘interesting’ interactive games. Wet T shirt competitions and porn were also pretty much a par for the course.

Of course, the party could only get started if the ambience was right and the ball usually attracted a host of great international DJs playing a wide range of music.

Sadly, there was no Darwin Hookers Ball in 2018 and, with no plans to bring this iconic event back, the residents of the city can breathe easy…for the time being.

Hookers Ball: Past Headlines

In previous years, the Hookers Ball has made local and national headlines for some of the exploits of both party goers and bystanders.

Public displays of nudity were often one of the main causes of outrage with guests taking to the streets, before and after the ball, wearing next to, or as was the case in 2011, nothing. In 2012, male guests were forced by the venue’s door staff to leave their pants at the cloakroom to avoid a $250 fine.

Over the years, the headlines that seemed to cause the most offense included the 2008 event when two policemen, who were on-duty at the time, were photographed in raunchy pictures published by the NT News. One officer was seen standing over a woman in black lingerie as she bent forwards in front of him, her ass nestling up against his crotch. A second image showed him getting a kiss on the cheek from the same girl.

It is not uncommon for B-list celebrities to take part in the festivities and previous guests have included ex-Neighbours actor, Daniel MacPherson, AFL star Lance ‘Buddy Franklin’, the Chk Chk Boom girl,  Clare Werbeloff and even American Pie actress, Tara Reid. But, perhaps one of the most popular guests in the event’s history was Molly Meldrum, music entrepreneur and living legend.

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American actress, Tara Reid, judged the wet t-shirt contest at the Ball in 2007. Image via Wikimedia.

Excessive drinking and lewd behaviour were also par for the course and previous years have seen plenty of shame faced revellers in the streets of Darwin post-party.

When is the Next Hookers Ball in Darwin?

Despite its popularity, the event doesn’t take place every year with the last party being held in May 2017. The date coincided with the groups 30th anniversary and was a huge success. However, no Hookers Ball was held in 2018 and there are currently no plans to bring the Hookers Ball back to Darwin.

The event  still has a good following and it is well worth keeping an eye on the PartyHard Darwin and Monsoon’s Party Bar Facebook pages for news of a return to the calendar.

Featured image via Facebook.



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