Darwin Military Museum | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Darwin Military Museum

Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

About Darwin Military Museum

The Darwin Military Museum, located in the East Point Military Museum complex of Darwin, houses exhibits and artefacts detailing the role of the city during WWII.

Darwin, the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory played a crucial role in the country’s WWII involvement. At the start of the war 10,000 allied troops were sent to the city to defend the nation’s northern coastline from Japanese air attacks, this would increase to a record of 110,000 by 1943. In 1942 Japanese warplanes bombed Darwin, killing at least 243 people, and the Northern Territory was subjected to a further 62 air attacks before 1944.

The new and improved Defence of Darwin Experience is an interactive, multimedia exhibition that details Darwin’s history and its role in World War II. Originally created as an artillery museum, the exhibition features vehicles, uniforms, firearms, images and paintings alongside artillery pieces. As well as the exhibitions, it is possible to explore the bunkers that were used by personnel in WWII and also to see military vehicles left in their original positions. As the forefront of Australia’s homeland military action, Darwin was also the base for American forces attempting to free Manila and defend Guinea from Japanese forces.

The museum itself is housed in the original 1940s gun emplacements that were built to defend the city against attack by sea or air, these guns are still in situ and visitors can encircle them as they stroll through the exhibition. A small but rapidly expanding and improving museum, the Darwin Military Museum gives the most detailed and personal introduction to the impact of WWII on the Australian mainland. Although focused on WWII, the museum also holds information and articles relating to the entire military history of the Northern Territory.

Contributed by Isabelle Moore