Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

2019 HAL World Cruise

Thursday, March 14, 2019

 

We have been to Darwin several times and have always enjoyed all that the city has to offer.  We have, in the past, visited the Waterfront with its luxury apartments and condos and cafes.  We’ve been out to the Stokes Hill Wharf. We’ve been through the park.  So, this time around, we were totally content to shop the boutiques and stop in at the Coles Supermarket for snacks.

Our day can be summed up in the photos:

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We docked at the Fort Hill Wharf Cruise Ship Terminal. Shuttle buses took us into town.
On the way, we had the opportunity to pet a baby crocodile.
On the way, we had the opportunity to pet a baby crocodile.
We were dropped-off near the Smith Street pedestrian mall.
We were dropped-off near the Smith Street pedestrian mall.
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Walking along Smith Street, we came across this colorful group of kangaroos. They were produced as a fundraising project for a local children’s organization.
Smith Street is quite long but the pedestrian area runs only about 2 blocks.
Smith Street is quite long but the pedestrian area runs only about 2 blocks.
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We walked over to Mitchell Street where we shopped the local Coles Supermarket for groceries.

As we were heading back to the ship with our burden of purchases, we paused to review the signage regarding WWII and the Japanese bombings that destroyed so much of Darwin in 1942-1943.  On February 19, 1942, 188 Japanese warplanes attacked Darwin in two waves.  This was the same fleet that had bombed Pearl Harbor.  The attack killed 292, caused immense damage to the town, and was only the first of many more raids to come.  For the next several months, a small group of Americans, flying Kittyhawk fighters, defended the north Australian skies.  Eventually, the Allies launched offensive air attacks and took the war back to the Japanese-held areas in the islands of the north.  We were reminded of an aerial display we witnessed in 2010 by the New Zealand Roullettes, who just happened to be visiting Darwin at the time!

That memory prompted us to look up the photos (included here):

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As we walked back along Smith Street we spotted this sign commemorating the Japanese attack of Darwin on February 19, 1942. the raids continued until November 12, 1943.
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The WWII sign reminded us of our 2010 visit to Darwin when we saw the New Zealand Roullettes in a mock battle over Darwin Harbour! That was cool.
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At the time, we thought it might be an impromptu show for the ship. But we have since learned that joint training exercises with the RAAF are performed annually.
It was an awe-inspiring show.  We were sorry to see it end.
It was an awe-inspiring show. We were sorry to see it end.

So now, we’ve added a new item to our bucket list:  We will visit the Darwin Aviation Museum (located near the airport, RAAF base, and Coonawarra Naval Base) on our next visit.  Perhaps we’ll even visit the Casuarina Square Mall.  It has 187 stores!  Now that is serious shopping!!!

 

But for now, we’re on our way to Komodo Island, Indonesia.

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