One Way to do Darwin

This review of Darwin has come about following news of the diversion of Queen Mary 2 from the Asian leg of her World Cruise due to the Corona Virus outbreak.

It has been put together in some haste to hopefully offer those who may be visiting Darwin on Queen Mary 2 an idea of what is on offer at this excellent cruise stop.

Darwin is the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory and faces the Timor Sea.

With only 148,564 inhabitants it remains  the largest city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory while also noted as  the smallest, wettest and most northerly of the Australian capital cities.

Visiting cruise ships berth at Fort Hill Wharf which has a dedicated cruise ship terminal…

…and is adjacent to the ‘Stokes Hill Wharf…

…which is renowned for its seafood restaurants…

*****

For those without mobility issues the centre of Darwin is easily accessed and it boasts a magnificent  waterfront promenade referred to as the Esplanade. Along the way is the opportunity to view Government House…

…the ‘Bombing of Darwin Memorial’…

and the Northern Territory’s Legislative Assembly…

Once on the Esplanade

…one could easily spend a few hours strolling along this lush, shady Esplanade perched on the cliffs of Darwin Harbour, and only a few minutes’ walk from the cruise terminal.

Signage tells the stories of Darwin’s military history and war heroes…

One of the first features is the cenotaph that commemorates Australians’ service to the war effort…

*****

 

…while there are other exhibits related to Darwin’s war experiences…

as well as just simply pleasurable spaces to just enjoy…

A short walk from the Esplanade is the town centre. Situated on Bennett Street (just behind the Legislature building) is the Tourist Information Centre…

…which as one can see is also a ticket stop for the Darwin HoHo Bus…

Nearby are a number of historical sites including, to the rear of the Information Centre, the preserved Old Town Hall Ruins…

Originally constructed in local stone in 1882, the building withstood the bombing of Darwin in 1942 only to be then  destroyed by Cyclone Tracy in 1974…

 

Close by, on the corner of Smith Street and The Esplanade is another restored classic building, The Old Police Station and Court House…

 

Probably prudent that I mention it here because one of the truly great attractions in Darwin is the Military Museum…

…at East Point. This is a fair distance from the centre of Darwin but the good news is that it is on the HoHo’s Blue Route…

For readers convenience I have added a link to the HoHo website…

https://www.bigbustours.com/en/darwin/classic-darwin-tour-ticket/

For the more active it is possible to hire a local cycle and work out your own programme…

Ours included Cullen Bay Marina (Nos 4 & 5 0n the HoHo route)…

The Military Museum (No 8 on the HoHo route)…

…and The Qantas Hangar (No 9 on the HoHo route)…

The hangar is a pre-fabricated building and was  erected in Darwin in 1934 for Qantas Empire Airways Ltd in time for the Centenary Air race.

It was used by the first Australia-England air service operated by Qantas and Empire Airways. It was extensively damaged after suffering a direct hit during the Darwin bombing in 1942. The damage can still be seen in the north-east corner of the original steel frame. In 1946 the Ross Smith airstrip ceased to be operational and the hangar was used as a mechanical workshop and later a store.

The hangar is now home to the Motor Vehicle Enthusiasts Club Inc. Northern Territory (MVEC) and showcases a range of historical memorabilia.

However, back to the Military Museum…

 

The Darwin Military Museum is located at East Point adjacent to the Defence of Darwin Experience. The site is within a heritage listed area that contains WWII fortifications…

The Museum aims to collect artefacts from all conflicts where Australian troops were deployed, including Vietnam…

and WWII…

There are also many displays of historical military hardware…

*****

*****

The Military Museum is certainly well worth a visit.

For those with a interest in military and historical features there is one other site in Darwin that is a highly popular visit, The World WarII Oil Storage Tunnels…

*****

Exceptionally easy to find and less than 10 minutes walk from the cruise terminal, the WWII Oil Storage Tunnels were built following a Japanese air raid on the old above ground fuel storage tanks.

Located below the cliffs of Darwin City in the Darwin Wharf Precinct on Kitchener Drive, a total of 11 tunnels were planned and today, of those completed, tunnels 5 and 6 are open to visitors…

*****

*****

For those visitors to Darwin who may seek to experience something a little different from the above there are a number of national parks within driving distance. Local tour companies, and no doubt ship’s excursions, will  be organising tours to Litchfield National Park…

 

Approximately 100 km south-west of Darwin, Litchfield National Park covers some 1500 km² and attracts over 260,000 visitors a year.

A massive sandstone plateau, scattered with pockets of verdant rainforest, impressive waterfalls…

*****

…and cool, crystal pools, Litchfield National Park epitomises the true beauty of the Top End…

 

One of the park’s unique attractions are groups of narrow ‘magnetic’ termite mounds that eerily resemble bush graveyards…

Constructed by millions of termites, all are precisely aligned to catch the sun and many are over a hundred years old…

In addition to the gravestones there are many clusters of giant -taller four metre high –Cathedral Termite Mounds…

…all very accessible…

*****

That basically concludes this review of our time in Darwin, Northern Australia. It’s certainly a different kind of place to visit, when compared with the rest of Australia’s coastal cities, but none the less interesting and fun to explore.

And don’t forget, the Barramundi and Chips…

….are to die for.

If you have enjoyed this review of Darwin and would like to be amongst the first to hear of new reviews, including two new experiences for my wife and I, an Emerald Waterways Luxury Yacht Cruise along the Dalmatian Coast, an  MSC’s Preziosa Yacht Club experience in the Caribbean, plus P&O’s latest offering, Iona, plus Solent Richard’s next port guide review of Salerno   in his ‘One way to do…’ series, why not join over 600 followers by clicking on the ‘Follow’ link on the front page.

You will be alerted by email immediately a new post appears.

 

©2019 – 20 * Solent Richard’s Cruise Blog * All Rights Reserved

Duplication in part or whole without prior written consent is prohibited by international laws.

 

Disclosure to potential conflict of interest:

It is common throughout the travel industry for travel journalists and many cruise bloggers to be provided with complimentary cruises for the purpose of their reviews.

Solent Richard has no ‘conflict of interest’ as he is not an accredited journalist, he pays for his cruises, and is happy to confirm that all his reviews are his own given without fear or favour.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.