E is for Echoes of War

EAST POINT (Darwin)

Today we’re going to have a short excursion into one of Darwin’s historic areas, East Point.

The heavy gun emplacements at East Point.

The heavy gun emplacements at East Point.

East Point is significant for its World War II artefacts: the lookouts and the gun points. It’s also the location of Darwin’s Military Museum and its new Defence of Darwin  Museum  Experience.. Although not well publicised during the war, Darwin was subject to a major Japanese bombing raid on 19 February 1942. Australian Air Force and Army personnel were stationed up and down the Stuart Highway to counter-attack if an invasion took place although the bombing raid caught everyone largely unprepared.

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If you’re a bird watcher you may also care to look out for the little crimson finches which can sometimes be seen flitting among the vegetation with their trademark “peep peep” call. If you’re lucky, and mighty alert, you might even spot a family of curlews among the bushes.

Looking rather like a deteriorating water tank, this is actually a gun position (interstice) near the BBQ area and playground.

Looking rather like a deteriorating water tank, this is actually a gun position (interstice) near the BBQ area and playground.

Why not join the locals and follow up your history lesson with a barbie (BBQ) near the beach and an evening drink while admiring the setting sun? One of Darwin’s features is that it actually faces west (even though it’s at the north of the country), so you see sunsets over water…something to get used to if you’ve grown up or lived on the east coast. Sunset-watching is a soothing way to close the day and you get a different view of the Darwin skyline as well. There’s also a good playground and a man-made lake, free of crocs, where the ankle-biters can have some fun.

Why visit: Military history, natural environment, great views and sunsets.

FYI: There are a couple of maps on my A to Z planning post which will help you to pinpoint where today’s post is situated.

Darwin sunset

ELLIOTT

Elliott is a “whistle-stop” between the Devil’s Marbles and Daly Waters, a mere 800 or so kms from Darwin. Never a great place, frankly it’s now dodgy as… you really wouldn’t want to stop here overnight unless you had to, as far as I can tell it has no mitigating features. It’s a place to refuel, take a toilet break, grab a cold drink or an ice cream and set forth on the next leg of your journey. I remember transiting here once when I had to make a call about a job…they seriously thought I could get back to Darwin to talk to someone that same afternoon, within a couple of hours!!

Why visit: Refuel, refresh, facilities stop. (Trust me, you don’t need a photo of Elliott).

TODAY’S AUSSIE-ISMS

Esky: a portable cooler for keeping drinks and food cold while out camping or on a picnic (in NZ I believe it’s called a chilly bin)

Ear bash: talk constantly (talk the leg off an iron pot); go on and on about something

Elbow grease: muscle/hard work, put some elbow grease into it to clean something.

Eat the table/horse etc: so hungry you could eat a horse or a table or….

Ex-y: expensive, maybe beyond its worth

Tomorrow we’re not straying far from East Point as we’ll spend time looking at some world-famous aviation achievements in neighbouring Fannie Bay.

The renewable energy research facility at East Point.

The dual alternative energy research facility at East Point.

To storm or not to storm

As you know from my posts it’s been wild weather here lately and as it’s pouring down again today with lots of thunder and lightning I thought I’d post some photos of Fannie Bay. East Point, bright and blue like it usually is, sea mostly still as a millpond, taken on a Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago.

East Point in sunshine 7 January 2012

Another from Fannie Bay of the storms building up over the city.

Storm clouds over the city 7 January 2012.

Last week’s grey ocean, rough and milky with a surf running (very unusual to have surf on Fannie Bay). Yes, I know the horizon is badly crooked….I couldn’t even stand up straight in the wind it was so strong let alone control the camera properly.

Surf's up at Fannie Bay 25 January 2012

The colours of the Territory’s coast

I love the colours of the rocks fringing Darwin’s coastline. The rocks are very soft and prone to shearing off. Small stones that I’ve collected tend to disintegrate to powder over time.

East Point coastline

As I’m travelling interstate this week I’m including some photos taken when we went for a photo session on Saturday late afternoon.

The tide was high and the sun was dropping in the sky highlighting the colours of the Wet Season clouds, sea, rocks and trees. This area provides a popular walking path but the cliffs have to be avoided as they’re very “crumbly”.