Defence of Darwin Experience

posted in: Northern Territory

Okay, this roadsign says wallabies but I think they got the silhouette all wrong. :)  This was in Darwin, on the way to East Point to visit the Defence of Darwin Experience and the Darwin Military Museum. Wallabies Roadsign | How Many More Minutes? First is the Defence of Darwin Experience which is an interactive exhibition/museum.  LadyBug(5) had the camera for a bit and she always takes pictures of the poppies.  This display was in the foyer and provided faces for some of the names inside the museum.  Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? When you enter you are invited to take a little card with a picture and name and find their story inside.  I asked LadyBug to take a picture of her card and this is what ended up on the camera.  🙂 Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? There was a lot to look at here, heaps of information that anyone would be hard-pressed to take in all at once.  It was a pretty contained area so we all wandered around to what interested us and took turns keeping track of the toddler. Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? There were many multimedia experiences.  Maps, videos, audio stories.  This is an interactive table that gives you an aerial view of the harbour.  You can see where the ships were, where the bombs were dropped, and read individual stories from the day. Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? Plenty of memorabilia from the bombings in Darwin.  This is a bomb fragment, there were several around the museum; some large, some small. Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? This gavel and Bible came from the courthouse.  Court was in session when the air-raid sirens sounded.  Everyone headed for the trench out back to take cover.  The trench had been completed the day before.  After the attack there was no need for civil law chambers as most civilians had been evacuated. Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? These came from the MV Neptuna which was sunk during the attack.  Forty-five men died on board.  Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? As the crew prepared to abandon ship the cargo of explosives went off sending smoke and flames 100 metres into the air.  Part of the wreckage still remains in Darwin Harbour.  [This image is from Wikipedia.] Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? This is a Japanese drop tank.  It was an extra fuel tank that helped them fly further, the tank was then dropped after use and was designed to be expendable. Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? I loved this feather painting.  It’s gorgeous and so fragile, it’s amazing it is still around.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before.  The ship it portrays is the MV Manunda, known as the hospital ship.  Before the war it had been a passenger liner and thus there were many souvenirs of the ship. Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? This was in the ‘Build Up to War’ section, where you learn about how Darwin prepared for war and the ‘growth of Japan’s aspirations’ in the years before. Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? I remember pointing this out to the kids, if I recall correctly it’s a piece of the underwater telegraph cable that connected Australia to the rest of the world.  It went through Port Darwin and was connected in 1871. Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? In the Bombing of Darwin Experience Gallery they show a 12-minute movie complete with sound and light effects.  It invites you to imagine a peaceful morning suddenly shattered by an attack by 188 Japanese aircraft.  We watched it twice, it was really well done. Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes?Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? I found this sign with information about the government of the NT, interesting to me since I’m not familiar with the history.  (Honestly, many Aussies are probably not familiar with the history, either!) Originally the Northern Territory was under the control of South Australia.  That had to do with John Stuart being the first European to explore the area and claiming it for SA.  They were happy to claim it with the success of the Overland Telegraph but not so happy as the NT proved to be unsuccessful in other ways.  The Federation was created in 1901 and SA was finally able to hand over the NT to the Commonwealth Government in 1911.  As of 1978 the NT is self-governed but remains a territory.  Just a few months ago we read news headlines that the NT will become a state in 2018. Defence of Darwin Experience | How Many More Minutes? Of  course there was much more in here than just what appears in my pictures above.  After a good wander around we headed outside to the military museum.  (Next post!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *