Travel

Even more war stories – how Australia came under attack from air raids during WWII

My previous war story blog provided details of the bombing of Darwin and the subsequent battles against the Japanese in the Coral Sea and Papua New Guinea. After the bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942, the Japanese carried out further air-borne attacks across northern Australia. In total, between March 1942 and November 1943, the Japanese flew …

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Stopping the grey invasion

“The only fence in the world that cuts a continent into two mighty paddocks”. Ernestine Hill Towards the end of the nineteenth century, rabbits began eating their way towards Western Australia. They were known as a serious threat to the environment and ruined profitable farming land in the eastern states. They were difficult to control …

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And they’re racing!

“In 1921, at a combined mustering camp, which was the custom in those days, a number of stockmen from stations including Mt Augustus, Erravilla, Milgun, and Landor were having a day off. They began a discussion about who had the fastest horses. And so began the tradition.” Don Hammarquist, President East Gascoyne Race Club, Opening …

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The atomic age arrives in a cloud of dust at a sleepy coastal town

“That lethal cloud rising above Montebello marks the achievement in science and industry in the development of atomic power. [For] good or evil, for peace or war, for progress or destruction. The answer doesn’t lie with Britain alone, but we may have a greater voice in this great decision if we have the strength to …

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Cattle kings – the rise and fall of pastoralism in the East Kimberley region

“The East Kimberley is the land of blacks, Sacks [another prolific local clan thought to be Irish] and bloody Duracks“. Anon “If one were to paint this country in its true colours, I doubt it would be believed. It would be said at least that the artist exaggerated greatly, for never have I seen such …

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Some more war stories – when war came to Australia

During our travels to the Top End and following on from my earlier blog, ‘Some War Stories’, I have learned more about northern Australia’s involvement during WWII, particularly the bombing of Darwin in February 1942. Growing up in Sydney, I learnt about the Japanese submarine raids in the harbour. Still, I never heard anything about …

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Ships of the desert

“I don’t like them [camels]…but from my point of view I reckon they were the best animals that ever looked through a collar”. Camaleer ‘Stockwhip Jim’ Clarke Australia’s outback covers more than six million square kilometres or almost twice the size of India. As the coastal areas were first settled in Australia, questions remained about …

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Swallowed up by the sea – solving Australia’s most enduring maritime tragedy

On 19 November 1941, on the Indian Ocean off the Western Australian coast, the Royal Australian Navy’s greatest warship, the HMAS Sydney II, was sunk by a disguised German raider. It was and still is the worst naval disaster in Australia’s history. All 645 officers and men on board HMAS Sydney II were lost at sea, representing 35 …

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