When War Came to Australia

The Defence of Darwin


On February 19 1942, Darwin was attacked by two waves of Japanese aircraft, devastating the city, and killing an estimated 250 people. The attack came as a complete surprise, even though most women and children had already been evacuated while Allied forces developed a major naval base in the city. The day “war came to Australia” is relived through outstanding multimedia exhibits at the Defence of Darwin Experience, located adjacent to the guns, cannons and other weaponry on display at the Darwin Military Museum. Darwin’s role in WWII is a story few people know about, and one that visitors will never forget.

Length of Trip : 2-4 hours, depending on your interest in military history

Cost :
Click here for the latest entrance prices

Best time to go : Open year round. Darwin is ideal mid-June to mid-September.

Wheelchair friendly : The Defence of Darwin Experience is wheel-chair friendly with all exhibitions and facilities located on the ground floor.

Family friendly : Yes

Where to eat :
We recommend breakfast at Ben's Bakehouse, lunch at Pee Wee's Patio and dinner at Char.

Official Site :

Where to Stay :
We recommend staying with our partner, the centrally located and spacious Oaks Elan when visiting Darwin.

Getting There :
The museum is located at 5434 Alec Fong Lim Drive, East Point, Darwin. There is minimal public transport and so taxis are recommended.

Note from Robin :
It's a story more Australians should be a familiar with, and Americans too, since almost one hundred casualties were Americans stationed in Darwin. The Japanese continued to pepper the Top End with nearly one hundred bombing raids, all the way through to mid-1944. Darwin alone withstood another 62 air raids, although never as destructive as the initial raid. There's a lot of fascinating war history here.


East Point


The Gun Room