World War 2, Darwin bombing

Cyclone Tracy - Chinese New Years - Hotel Darwin

Narda writes in script Terrell whatever

We sat under a fan in a giant marquee with I recon at least a thousand others.

The band of the 1st Brigade played, wreaths were laid, the last post was played, and notable people spoke. It was very moving. Then the air raid sounded sirens and a jet flew over, real loud, real close. The gunners shot rounds into the sea. Cosmetic smoke whirled around us.

Today is the 79th year anniversary of the bombing of Darwin.

After attending this commemoration service, we walked up to Stokes Wharf and saw the Flying Doctor Museum

and learned more about the bombing. There were special headsets where you could experience, virtual reality style, what it was to be there in the harbour as the bombs fell, the smoke, then falling from a fighter jet and nearly drowning. Quite the experience.

Our video of this wonderful day…

Cyclone Tracy

It was a small one but extraordinarily strong. No one expected it to disrupt their Christmas eve in 1974. The cyclone made a direct hit on Darwin, destroying 70% of the buildings and 80% of the homes, with gusts of wind up to 250 Km per hour. 30,000 people were evacuated, many of them never returned.

The museum has a special exhibition for the cyclone, lots of footage, even a small booth you could go into to experience the noise it made, in total darkness. Pretty amazing. The museum was really good, one of the highlights of the museum was a maritime exhibition of many of the boats that carried people from Indonesia, Vietnam, Borneo and other islands, trying to get into Australia. Back then, in the 70s and 80s they were welcomed, though some were repatriated back to their counties. Now we treat them horribly and lock them up.

Chinese New Years

Hotel Darwin

Barramundi was on the specials menu and Terrell wanted to return for the third time. I had Caveman Pizza…Yum. You can imagine it. Back to Stokes Wharf, we met with Joel and Phoebe. It was very enjoyable, lots of interesting conversation. These guys have done well here and love it. Cannot see them leaving. There is much to love, everywhere you look, you see water. Lots of rain, almost every afternoon. And friendly people. We have almost forgotten that it is also expensive.

Our new friend Max has found a temporary job in Kakadu, in a hotel called Crocodile Hotel, a nice start to his backpacking adventure. He said we should come down and see it all. Unfortunately, it is a 3 hour drive away, and with no car…though it was tempting.