Vessels awaiting a pilot may anchor between one and two miles northwest of Channel Rock No. 6 Light-buoy (12°25'S 130°47'E) in 82 ft (25 m) of water with a sandy bottom and good holding ground. The other principle outer anchorage is two miles north of Charles Point Patches No. 5 Light-buoy (12°20'S 130°42'E) in about 42.7 ft (13 m) to 65.6 ft (20 m) with good holding ground.

Primary anchorages used by U.S. Naval vessels in Darwin Harbor are less than 2 nmi southwest of the Darwin commercial berths and south of the Darwin Naval Base (Hydrographic Service, 1998). These anchorages are generally deeper than 65.6 ft (20 m) with sand, mud, or clay bottom or mixtures of these materials. Holding quality is good in all the anchorages. This area is affected by a daily sea breeze that may exceed 20 knots but wave action rarely exceeds 4.6 ft (1.4 m).

Three heavy-duty moorings are maintained in the Port of Darwin. The two commercial mooring buoys are rated at 1000 and 7000-ton displacement respectively and are located 0.5 nmi southeast of the commercial wharves. The naval mooring is 2 nmi from both the commercial and naval berths at approximately 12°29.5'S 139°49'E and is rated at a 7000-ton displacement.