I must admit I had never thought about Australia’s involvement in World War II before.

The topic first came up on my way to Broome where I heard the story of the HMAS Sydney that had been sunk by a German battle cruiser, where all the 645 people aboard died. The Germans had to give up their ship afterwards, too and many made it ashore.

We passed through an endless street with a little memorial every few meters for every person that was aboard the HMAS Sydney.


Yesterday I barely escaped the level 3 cyclone hitting Broome by plane to Darwin. It had been raining cats and dogs (or kangaroos and emus, to translate the saying into aussie ^^). My flight was delayed for more than an hour, take-off and landing were very exciting (i.e. rough and bumpy) but we made it without problems. The following day Broome Airport was shut because of the Cyclone.

Luckily it wasn’t raining when I arrived in Darwin. I took the shuttlebus to my hostel, checked in and didn’t leave again that day. Outside it was 30°C and as wet as it can be – my personal hell! Luckily my room is airconditioned.

I woke up at 5 am because it was boiling hot in my room, actually warmer than outside. Some idiot had turned of the cooling during the night! I felt sick and weak, so I left the room. I spent time with my phone until at 7 am the free (and really good) breakfast was ready. Unfortunately I couldn’t really enjoy it because I still felt weak and had a funny stomach. A little later I was better though and I left my hostel to explore the city.

And now that brings me back to my introduction with WWII. Darwin is the most northerly point of Australia and was the first line of defense and hit the hardest (Broome was also badly hit a few times). While you find war memorials in every australian town, Darwin’s history is full of it. There are heaps of memorials here.

It was still 30°C and humid as ever. Walking a comfortable pace I got stitches in the side, unbelievable! By then I wasn’t far from the WWII oil storage tunnels, which I wanted to see anyway. Paid $6 and went in.

Really impressive! Huge tunnels to store fuel safe from enemy attacks that you can now walk in. Because of the heavy rain in the days before it was partially flooded, that was fun! Unfortunately the temperature and humidity were not much better than outside.

Then I went to the new Waterfront city, really pretty! I got changed to go for a refreshing swim when suddenly a rainstorm came up. Darwin (just like Broome) is in the tropics, and it’s the wet season. Heavy rainshowers come up in no time, last a few minuntes and then are gone as quickly as they came. I waited under the roof of the convention centre. The shower brought a drop in temperature and humidity and suddenly I didn’t feel like having a swim anymore. Instead I walked back through the city, bought some food at the supermarket and went back to my hostel where I jumped into the nice swimming pool under a huge frangipani tree.

I spent the rest of the day at the hostel swimming, reading, listening to music and doing my washing.

Darwin is a nice place (except for the extreme humidity) full of lush green park areas and it is bigger than I expected, but see for yourselves:

From 2012-03-17 Darwin. Posted by Philipp Hübner on 3/17/2012 (51 items)

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