What is there to see at the Darwin Aviation Museum?

  • Origins of the Museum

    One of the highlights that is definitely worth a visit in the city is the Darwin Aviation Museum. The museum focuses around an epic B-52 plane that was gifted by the United States to Darwin for their contribution in World War II. In December of 1976, a society was formed by aircraft enthusiasts whose sole mission was to salvage and preserve relics and aircrafts from World War II and the aftermath of the destructive cyclone Tracy. After they gained traction for their work, the society negotiated with the United States military and the Australian Government in order to secure a new museum and the famed B-52 bomber. The museum which still stands today was opened in 1990 and features tales of wartime experience from military officials and civilians who were innocently caught in the crossfire of war.

  • What’s on display

    The prized jewel of the museum is the mammoth sized B-52 Strato-fortress bomber that takes centre stage and which all other exhibitions are focused around. Another notable aircraft that can be viewed is a Japanese fighter plane used in the attack of Pearl Harbour which crash landed in Darwin, resulting in the Japanese pilot being Australia’s first prisoner of war.

    In total, you’ll find 21 engines, 19 aircrafts both military and civilian and a display on the first female pilot who flew solo from Britain to Australia; Amy Johnston. For aviation fans, this is a truly museum that can’t be missed, delve into the minds of civilians and military officials at the time with footage on display from the infamous Bombing of Darwin and fighter planes in action.

  • History of Darwin in World War II

    Scattered around Darwin are the remnants of the lasting impact that World War II had on the city. Bunkers, gun emplacements and military airstrips can all be seen around the heritage sites which you can see by bus tour. At the time of World War II, Darwin was a strong allied airforce base thanks to its long airstrips that could sustain the large warplanes that would land there. Over time, Adelaide River – over a hundred kilometres away from Darwin- would become a joint headquarters for the United States and Australian air forces.

    In February of 1942, disaster struck as the first and largest single attack from a foreign power led by the Japanese commander who was responsible for Pearl Harbour conducted a total of 64 air raids on Darwin. This day would forever live on in the minds of the city’s residents as the Bombing of Darwin, which unleashed an attack even more forceful than the one made on Pearl Harbour.

How to get there

If you’re using public transport, there is a bus that will take you right outside the entrance of the Darwin Aviation Museum.

By taxi, it’s an 8-kilometre drive from the main city centre.

However, the best way to explore the museum as well as surrounding city sights in Darwin, is by going with a tour company. This will ensure that you make the most out of your time in the historically rich city of Darwin.

Join our Darwin City Tour today!

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