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World War II history

Travel to the Top End and discover how deeply Darwin is embedded in Australia’s military history. To this day, the Bombing of Darwin remains the largest ever single attack mounted on Australia by a foreign power.

As a strategic Allied military base, Darwin was the target of Japanese air raids in February 1942, with more bombs dropped on the city than on Pearl Harbor. Savage air raids continued to rain across the Top End during World War II, leading to a repositioning of armed forces in the Darwin region. Adelaide River, 113km south of Darwin, become a huge base for Australian and American headquarters.

As a result of this prolonged conflict, there are many incredible heritage sites in and around the city, and indeed through the Territory, including ammunition bunkers, airfields, oil storage tunnels, explosives stores and watch towers.

Local tour operators offer a range of insightful and informative guided tours of these heritage sites, or you can easily discover them yourself if you have the time to explore.

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