How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Cullen Bay Marina and the East Point Military Area

Friday 16th November 2012

Cullen Bay
Cullen Bay Marina and the East Point Military Area
Cullen Bay Marina
After leaving the tunnels MrJ and I drove down to the Cullen Bay Marina area, leaving the Darwin CBD behind to follow the unit and apartment lined road that winds down to the marina. The units were on the left and a 10mt high rock wall was on the right. At the marina we found a car park where we left the car and ventured on foot. The first thing that I noticed was that the commercial strip resembled more of Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast in Queensland with its cafes and shops. Some of Darwin's most recognized and frequented cafes and restaurants are situated here such as Yots and The Boatshed and Buzz Cafe which is where MrJ and I decided to have a burger for early lunch at not so light prices. Cullen Bay Marina which was built in 1988, has around 100 craft; large tourist ferries (the ferry to Mandorah leaves from this marina), fishing charter boats, overseas visiting yachts and local yachts in its berths at any one time. Mandorah is a sleepy town and secret getaway with the Darwin locals.

Driving away from Cullen Bay MrJ and I travel along the coast where possible out past Fanny Bay and the new Lake Alexander which provides free swimming and playground facilities, with a safe beach, bike tracks, BBQ and picnic areas.

We continue on East Point Road out to East Point (funny about that) and the former East Point military area. The drive through to East Point was amazing especially with the bright orange coloured flowering trees lining the road

The military structures are listed in the Register of the National Estate. Of major historic significance, the area provided the last major ‘fortress’ built on Australian soil and is a reminder of a prominent element of Australia's only battleground. East Point played a particular role in the naval strategy of Australia and Britain.

The gun emplacement precinct comprises much of the north eastern section of the peninsula. The area includes 150mm and 230mm gun emplacements and a plotting room.
Add caption
the magarzine

The main sites are easily linked by walking tracks and comprise examples of early sites from the build up period to the post-bombing period.

today there is a riding school nearby

In the 1960s the Royal Artillery Association commenced work on the artillery museum, which was eventually opened in 1969. This small but interesting military museum mainly displays the WWII history including the 'Bombing of Darwin' by the Japanese. The aviation and naval sections followed in 1972 and 1974.

After the War the East Point area continued to be used by the military. Its chief use at this time was for horse stables.

The low lying coastal cliffs at East Point consist of sedimentary rock commonly known as Porcelainite which has been naturally eroded largely by wave action from the ocean to form horizontal to undulating cliff faces of varying colours.
Over seventy years ago, the concerns of Captain Nurse were expressed and still the cliffs are steadily disappearing as the erosion continues. With the erosion some of the wartime relics have toppled into the sea and more are not far from joining them.
Little is known of the cliff top observation and machine gun post other than there were were two constructed in late 1941, early 1942 as a response to a perceived threat of Japanese invasion. The erection work on the post was done in a rush using whatever materials that was available including galvanised iron and timber for forming.
The post comprised of two reinforced concrete structure, one has already been taken by the sea while the other barely sits on the cliff top just waiting to be taken.


Take a look at the two photos of the site; one is the information board at East Point with a photo taken in 2005.

My photo was taken today. How long before there is nothing left?

Nowadays the gates to East Point close at 11pm allowing the visitor to experience the delight of a magnificent sunset and the city’s nightlights from this vantage point. MrJ and I were not hanging around till then; I had some shopping to do on our way home. In the supermarket we could relax and cool off under the aircon.
night begins in the marina


1 comment:

  1. I've just stumbled across your blog, Nancy...and am so please that I have.

    It is with much nostalgia and much interest, I'm reading your June posts re Newry Island. I spent almost 18 months living on and running the little resort (now extinct, unfortunately) on Newry...back in 1990-1991.

    Coincidentally, on my own blog at the moment I've a story about Christmas/New Year 1990-1991 on Newry...when Cyclone Joy paid a visit to the area. So far I've put up two chapters of the "event", with more to come.

    Thanks for stirring up my memories of my great adventure.

    I lived on Newry Island alone (other than for guests and visiting boaties/yachties and fishermen). At the time I was on the island, Willi Litz, a German fellow who'd lived in Australia for many, many years, held the lease. He was in earth-moving (and also had interests in the Central Gemfields out around Sapphire etc.) At the time, he worked somewhere down along the Qld/NSW border.

    I loved being a female Robinson Crusoe...but I didn't have a Man Friday to keep me company - only my two cats...and it worried me not! :)