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Unlock the Past Cruises

War comes to Australia: WWII 70th anniversary tour

Event Information

  • 17 Feb 2012 9:00am - 22 Feb 2012 3:00pm
  • Darwin
  • Australia, Northern Territory
Other Information
  • Cost: $1750 excluding air fares

The tour has now reached capacity - bookings are closed.

On 19 February 1942 war came to Australia. Dubbed the 'Pearl Harbour' of Australia, Darwin was subjected to two raids by the Japanese within an hour of each other. Over 240 people were killed, with another 300 - 400 wounded. Aircraft were destroyed, ships were sunk, and both civil and military facilities in Darwin were devastated.

Numerous further attacks on Australia occurred over the coming months, including regions south of Darwin, Broome, Sydney and other places. The tour is to the Northern Territory sites, but the tour will also commemorate and give some place in its special presentations to the other places affected - and the impact on the whole of Australia and Australians.

War Comes to Australia tour
Unlock the Past
is teaming up with our Clean Cruising, our travel/cruise partner, and Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours, leading Australian battlefield tour operator, to organise a War comes to Australia: WWII bombing 70th anniversary tour in February 2012. For 6 days and 5 nights, you will travel to various museums and important historical sites in Darwin and south of Darwin, as well as participate in the town's celebrations on the 19 February 2012.

There will be three seminar periods on the tour with feature presentations by:

For information regarding the various aspects of the tour, please click on the links to the left of this page, or download a pdf brochure

See also the Frontline Australia web site - the Darwin City Council's 70th anniversary commemoration web site.

War Comes to Australia Seminar
We also plan to hold a War comes to Australia Seminar in Sydney the day before the tour as a prelude to the event. This will be open to both tour participants, and anyone else. It will provide insight into the impact of war on Australia generally to anyone attending. For those also continue on the tour it will give great context to tour itself.

More information
For expressions of interest or to be on our War comes to Australia mailing list, phone Alan at 08 8395 7476 or email alan@unlockthepast.com.au

This is a unique and innovative new event, and not to be missed - especially given the significance of the anniversary it is timed around.

More information on war in Australia
There are many web sites, documentaries and books dealing with the war iin Australia, but click here for an excellent overview with links to more information.

Did you know that

  • most states of Australia were also bombed or attacked by sea? All feared and prepared for attack.
  • 19 February 1942 saw the first bombing of Australia - about two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbour and four days after the fall of Singapore.
  • eight ships were sunk in Darwin Harbour that day. 34 aircraft were destroyed, the post office demolished and approx 240 people killed. A "sledge hammer to crack an egg" according to Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese the air commander (who also commanded the Pearl Harbour bombing)
  • at least 64 more raids occurred on Darwin and 33 on other targets in northern Australia over almost two more years.
  • in addition to Australians "... almost 1 million US personnel passed through Australia during the war..." [Wikipedia] - NT and other states.