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Darwin National Park and Aviation Museum

blog-0677612001399314254.jpgOur last day in Darwin was spent visiting two interesting sites. Darwin National Park lies to the south of the city and is located on Beagle Bay. There is a nice view of the city from across the bay. The park itself is relatively undeveloped. During WWII the land was used for ammunition bunkers which are still there in the park. They no longer contain ammunition but are used for other storage today. One of the bunkers was open and contained exhibits from WWII when Darwin was under Japanese attack over 50 times. The bunker had holes in it from one or more of those attacks.

We walked several trails there and saw numerous other bunkers. We also enjoyed walking through the rainforest listening to the sound of the birds. It is one thing to hear birds in a rainforest it is quite another to actually see birds. We did have one bit of luck as we started our return to the campervan. A bird flashed across the trail and landed on a branch right in front of us. It was a beautiful bright blue Forest Kingfisher. Identification on this bird was easy as it has two distinctive white spots, one next to each eye. Both the male and female were in the same place and we were able to watch them for quite a while.

Leaving Darwin National Park we drove into town to visit the Australian Aviation Heritage Center. This is housed in a large hangar at the Darwin International Airport. The center piece of the exhibit is a B-52 bomber donated to the museum by the United States. The entire bomber was inside the hangar and it just about filled it completely. Other exhibits were beneath the wings, tail, nose, and around the sides. We were able to get a look into the cockpit and inside the bomb bay. Other exhibits included the wreckage of a Japanese Zero and a Mitsubishi (Betty) bomber which had been shot down over Darwin. There was an assortment of other British and French aircraft that had been flown by the Australian Air Force since WWII.


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