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The Northern Territory, and Darwin in particular, were core to Australia’s offensive and defensive role during World War II. A number of significant sites remain to this day, many within walking distance of the city centre or just a short drive away.

1. DARWIN WATERFRONT ON THE WHARF

The Waterfront is the site of the first bomb to land in Australia during World War II. The area also features underground tunnels which were built after the bombing and designed to protect fuel and oil from aerial bombardment.

2. SURVIVOR’S LOOKOUT TO GOVERNMENT HOUSE

This area of the Esplanade is a must for any visitor. Government House has been restored after heavy bombing during WWII and three major cyclones. The Survivor’s Lookout exhibit provides a history of the city, including the Bombing of Darwin.

3. DARWIN CENOTAPH

The Darwin Cenotaph commemorates Australian servicemen and women who have served in conflicts in which Australia has been involved. The memorial contains plaques commemorating WWII, Korea, Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam.

4. USS PEARY MEMORIAL TO DOCTORS GULLY

Bombed and sunk in February 1942, the Peary still lies on the floor of Darwin Harbour, with the Bicentennial Park memorial paying tribute to the 91 sailors lost. Nearby Doctors Gully was used as a flying boat base during the war.

5. EAST POINT MILITARY COMPLEX

In 1910 East Point was identified by Lord Kitchen as an ideal defensive position for the Darwin Harbour. The numerous remains and ruins dotting the area offer fantastic insights into Australia’s military strategies before, and during, World War II.

6. SANDY CREEK WATCH POST

Part of the ‘stop line’ against a sea invasion, Sandy Creek Watch Post was one of many concrete and steel beach defence strong-points built along the coastline north of Darwin.

7. CHARLES DARWIN NATIONAL PARK

During World War II, this area was part of Australia’s front line of defence. Today you can see historic ammunition storage bunkers and testing areas, plus a fascinating display of memorabilia from World War II.

8. QUARANTINE ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTERY

Quarantine Battery is the most complete anti-aircraft gun-site within the Darwin area, with the substantial remains located at the junction of Berrimah Road and Casey Street, near East Arm. It is a fascinating place to explore.

9. 16 MILE CAMP

Named for its distance from Darwin, this camp was developed after the Darwin bombings to help defend against an expected Japanese invasion. It was used as a base for both US and Australian troops.

10. COX PENINSULA/WAGAIT BEACH

Wagait Beach on the Cox Peninsula was part of Darwin’s WWII Defence Plan. Two important sites remain - the 6-inch gun emplacements of Wagait Battery and the wreckage of B24J Liberator Bomber Milady.

11. STRAUSS AIRFIELD

Strauss Airfield. Built in 1942, Strauss Airfield is located 45km from Darwin and a trail of other airfields such as Livingstone, Hughes and Fenton can be visited through the top end. Information displays, and some remnants from 1942 can still be seen today.

12. MANTON DAM

Manton Dam, about 65km north of Adelaide River, was built to supply water to the navies and Military in Darwin. The dam is still in place now and used as emergency back-up for Darwin river dam. One of the original Beni Burnett cottages is still on site as are 2 Sidney Williams huts.

13. BATCHELOR

Cleared as a civil aerodrome in 1933, Batchelor aerodrome became an important base for Allied Air operations during the war years from late 1941. Visit the Batchelor Museum to find out more.

14. ADELAIDE RIVER

The quiet township of Adelaide River was once a major centre for Australian and American armed forces. Today you can visit the numerous military sites along with the Adelaide River cemetery, a sobering reminder of the impact of WWII.

Click here to download a copy of the military map

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