Darwin Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by grandmaR
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by grandmaR
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by grandmaR

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Darwin

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    Parap Shopping Center & Saturday Market

    by AlbuqRay Updated Mar 17, 2015

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    The Parap Village Shopping Center is the home of at least three restaurants: Prickles Mexican Cuisine, Cafe Parap, and the Cyclone Cafe (see a separate tip). The small but busy Saturday Market (8:00 - 14:00) is said to be a local favorite and features a full gamut of Southeast Asian cuisine, as well as plenty of ingredients to cook yourself. It is located seven blocks east of East Point Road on Gregory Street. There is a very nice YouTube video on the Parap Saturday Market and 1934 QANTAS Hanger. The QANTAS Hanger part starts at 2:36.

    Parap Shopping Center & Saturday Market Parap Shopping Center Prickles Mexican Cuisine Cyclone Cafe Cafe Parap
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    Fannie Bay Gaol - Prisoner Art Show

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 8, 2012

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    When I was at the Fannie Bay Gaol Museum in August 2010, they were having a prisoner art show (presumably prisoners from other active institutions) in the Stores Building. The artwork was for sale. There were paintings, sculptures and furniture. The talent was amazing. How can people with abilities like this end up in prison?

    Prisoner Art Show Prisoner Art Show Prisoner Art Show Prisoner Art Show Prisoner Art Show
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    Fannie Bay Gaol - Stores Building & Visitor Center

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 7, 2012

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    The first picture shows a corner of the Infirmary, the west end of the Stores Building, the Visitors' Building and the history signboards on the west wall near the entrance. The Stores building was erected in about January 1958 and used as a reception area for prisoners upon arrival, clothing issue and to store prisoners' effects. Toward the end of 1958, the building was modified to include office space for the Gaoler and the Chief Guard. When I was there in August 2010, the Stores Building was being used for a prisoners' art show (see a separate tip).

    There was no smoking in the visitors' area. Other rules included: (1) Conversations to be of a private nature only and spoken in English, (2) Do not discuss prison matters, and (3) No articles to be passed through the fence.

    Infirmary, Stores & Visitors Buildings & West Wall Inside the Visitors Entrance at Fannie Bay Gaol Visitation Rules at Fannie Bay Gaol View Out of Visitors Entrance at Fannie Bay Gaol Graffitti on West End of Stores Building
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    Fannie Bay Gaol - Remand Section

    by AlbuqRay Written Jul 7, 2012

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    The Remand Section is located in the southeast corner of the Fannie Bay Gaol. The sign says: "Anecdotal evidence (for the graves were unmarked and outside the original boundary of the prison) suggests that prisoners who died while in Fannie Bay Gaol were buried in the area somewhere between the Remand Building and the present fence line."

    Remand Section and Unmarked Burial Sites
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    Fannie Bay Gaol - Medium Security C Wing

    by AlbuqRay Written Jul 7, 2012

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    The Medium Security C Wing building at Fannie Bay Gaol, and others like it, were made from modified Sidney Williams huts. They were installed in the 1960's. The corrugated iron and internal weldmesh design seems to not be private, but the prisoners preferred it to the isolation of "closed" cells. This type of cell design, where prisoners can see and talk to each other, was supported by the findings of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1991).

    Medium Security C Wing & Infirmary Inside Medium Security C Wing Cells in Medium Security C Wing Typical Cell in Medium Security C Wing Daily Duties for C Wing Sweeper
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    Fannie Bay Gaol - Separate Confinement Building

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 7, 2012

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    Two cells were placed in the middle of the lawn for violent or mentally ill inmates. These cells included a small yard encased with cyclone fencing. In the first picture, the Separate Confinement Building is the small white building on the right. The east end of the Ablutions Block is on the left.

    Fannie Bay Gaol - Separate Confinement Building Separate Confinement Building & Recreation Area
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    Fannie Bay Gaol Cell Blocks A and B

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 7, 2012

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    Cell blocks A and B were the original maximum security cell blocks at the Fannie Bay Gaol. Maximum security cells included hooks mounted into the walls for the restraint of inmates and very narrow doorways to prevent inmates escaping when a guard entered. Don't miss the signboard exhibit in Cell Block A about the Dawn of Art. It details the first Australian Aboriginal art exhibition, which featured works by Northern Territory (NT) artists that was unveiled to the public in 1888 in the NT display at the great Centennial International Exhibition in Melbourne. Three of the four artists were Fannie Bay Gaol prisoners.

    Fannie Bay Gaol Cell Block A Fannie Bay Gaol Cell Block B Narrow Doors for Security Reasons Inside Cell 4 No Prisoners Past This Line Without Permission
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    Fannie Bay Gaol Museum

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 7, 2012

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    Fannie Bay Gaol operated as Her Majesty's Gaol and Labour Prison in Darwin from 20 September 1883 until 1 September 1979. The original building has a kitchen, a wash house, and two maximum security cell blocks (A and B), each with six cells. The Infirmary was added in 1887 and contains the gallows installed for the last executions held in Northern Territory in 1952. A separate cell block for female prisoners was added in 1928. A watch tower, "native section" for Aboriginal prisoners, kitchen mess building, remand section and two medium security wings were added during the 1950's.

    The Fannie Bay Gaol Museum is administered by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT). It is open from 10 AM to 3 PM daily, but the last visitors are admitted at 2:45 PM. Admission is free. The entrance is on the east side of East Point Road just south of the intersection with Ross Smith Avenue. Aviators Park and the Fannie Bay Shopping Center are just across Ross Smith Avenue to the north. The Capricornia Motel is ~700 meters south of the museum. BTW, "gaol" is pronounced the same as "jail." See also several other off-the-beaten-path tips and a travelogue on the history of the Fannie Bay Gaol.

    Fannie Bay Gaol Museum Fannie Bay Gaol Museum Entrance Fannie Bay Gaol Grounds Fannie Bay Gaol Original Building Fannie Bay Gaol Site Plan
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    Fannie Bay Gaol - Kitchen and Mess

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 7, 2012

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    A sign said: "At Fannie Bay Gaol, unlike prisons elsewhere, the male prisoners did not eat in their cells, but ate communally in the Mess. Care was taken to separate the juvenile offenders from those imprisoned for more serious offences or who were believed might expose the children to the threat of sexual abuse." There are many juveniles in the USA that might want to read that or a similar sign before they decide to do certain things.

    Fannie Bay Gaol - Kitchen Refrigerator in the Fannie Bay Gaol Kitchen Fannie Bay Gaol - Mess Room No Prisoners to Enter 'Kitchen'
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    Fannie Bay Gaol - Childrens Section

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 7, 2012

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    There was also a building called the Children's Section. The sign says that "This building was constructed some time after 1963 to house prisoners which the administration felt required separate handling: juvenile offenders, inmates with contagious diseases (such as leprosy) and, in the 1970's, refugee Vietnamese boat people.

    Fannie Bay Gaol - Childrens Section Childrens Section Wash Basins Door to Childrens Section Cells & Toilets Childrens Section Cells Childrens Section Toilets
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    Fannie Bay Gaol - Ablutions Block

    by AlbuqRay Written Jul 7, 2012

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    The sign says that "Before the installation of an ablutions block, prisoners were taken daily to a nearby beach at Fannie Bay for a wash and also to empty the night soil into the sea. During one such visit in 1933, the Aboriginal outlaw, Nemarluk, escaped into the nearby rainforest at East Point to evade the police." Times have changed now. When one searches for "ablutions" on the internet, one hit is Ablutions, just a tad different from the Fannie Bay Gaol ablutions block.

    Outside Fannie Bay Gaol Ablutions Block Inside Fannie Bay Gaol Ablutions Block Fannie Bay Gaol Ablutions Block Sign Guard Shack and Back of Ablutions Block
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    Fannie Bay Gaol - Last Hanging

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 7, 2012

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    The last executions in Darwin were held at Fannie Bay Gaol in 1952, when Jerry Coci and Jonus Nopoty, Romanian immigrants, were hanged for the murder of a taxi driver. The gallows were constructed in the Infirmary especially for this execution. A pit was dug into the floor at one end of the building, with brick walls either side to support the beam. A small trapdoor and flight of steps led down into the pit for the doctor to examine the bodies after the drop. The prisoners were held in wire cages at the other end of the Infirmary prior to execution. The crime, murderers, trial, NT capital punishment, and execution are all documented on signboards in the Last Hanging Room.

    Fannie Bay Gaol Gallows Fannie Bay Gaol Gallows Fannie Bay Gaol Gallows Trapdoor & Steps Last Hanging Room in Fannie Bay Gaol Infirmary Entrance to Infirmary & Last Hanging Room
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    Fannie Bay Aviators Park

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    The Fannie Bay Aviators Park is located on Ross Smith Avenue east of the Fannie Bay shopping center about 1100 meters north of the Capricornia Motel. In 1919, when the England to Australia air race was announced, the Darwin Civil Aerodrome was established in the suburb of Parap to act as the Australian Terminal. Darwin hence operated two airports, the civilian aerodrome and a military field. In 1945, the Department of Aviation made the existing Darwin military airfield available for civil aviation purposes. As a result, the civilian aerodrome at Parap was closed down and airport operations combined with the military airport.

    The London-Australia Air Race was actually a means of returning Australian Flying Corps pilots and crews to Australia after the cessation of hostilities. They were required to fly their aircraft home, with a £10,000 prize as the incentive for the first aircraft manned by Australians to reach Australia in less than 30 days before the end of 1919. Having departed Hounslow Heath Aerodrome near London on 12 November, Ross and Keith Smith landed their Vickers FB27 Vimy G-EAOU 40 at the Darwin Civil Aerodrome at 3.05 pm on Friday 10 December 1919 and were met by the Acting Administrator, Staniforth Smith. They had accomplished the first ever flight from Europe to Australia, a distance of 18,500 km, in 27 days and 20 hours. The following day, the Acting Administrator entertained the heroes at Government House, where they were joined by Lieutenant Hudson Fysh DFC, another veteran of the Light Horse and No.1 Squadron AFC, who had been responsible for clearing the airstrip at Fannie Bay. The aerodrome in Darwin at which they landed was in the suburb of Parap, near the site of the present pool.

    The Great Air Race is documented in Aviators Park with commemorative bronze plaques along the walkways, and by a covered display with information boards. See also the Ross Smith Memorial tip.

    Fannie Bay Aviators Park 1919 Great Air Race Commemorative Plaque Site of Great Air Race Commemorative Plaque Great Air Race Display in Aviators Park Great Air Race Day 27 Commemorative Plaque
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    Ross Smith Memorial

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    The Ross Smith Memorial is located in a park area on a cliff overlooking Fannie Bay at the intersection of East Point Road and Ross Smith Avenue. It is about 200 meters west of Aviators Park and the Fannie Bay Shopping Center, and about 900 meters north of the Capricornia Motel. The memorial commemorates the landing of the first aerial flight from England to Port Darwin in 1919 by the Australian aviators Ross and Keith Smith and their crew. The flight took 27 days and 20 hours in a Vickers Vimy landing in Darwin on December 10, 1919. The brothers won a £10,000 prize offered by the government to the first Australian airmen to complete the flight in less than 30 consecutive days before December 31. See also the Aviators Park tip.

    Ross Smith Memorial Ross Smith Memorial Park and Fannie Bay North Side of Ross Smith Memorial Ross Smith Memorial Park View South from Cliff at Ross Smith Memorial
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    1934 QANTAS Hanger

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    The 1934 QANTAS Hanger is located at the corner of Holtze, Lampe and Macdonald Streets two blocks west of the Parap Village Shopping Center. It is now the home of the Motor Vehicle Enthusiasts Club. Visitors are welcome and admission is free. In 1919, when the England to Australia air race was announced, the Darwin Civil Aerodrome was established in the suburb of Parap to act as the Australian Terminal. Darwin hence operated two airports, the civilian aerodrome and a military field. The hanger was built in 1934 for QANTAS airlines and was an important part of the aerodrome facilities on the Brisbane-Darwin-Singapore link. The aerodrome was severly damaged during the 19 Feb 1942 air attacks on Darwin. Some of the structural damage can still be seen. In 1945, the Department of Aviation made the existing Darwin military airfield available for civil aviation purposes. As a result, the civilian aerodrome at Parap was closed down and airport operations combined with the military airport. The hanger was again badly damaged during Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Basically all of the corrugated iron sleathing was blown away and had to be replaced. The runways and taxiways are long gone now.

    What is now Ross Smith Avenue was one of the runways at the original Darwin Civil Aerodrome complex. It was named after the aviator, Ross Smith, who with his brother, Keith, won the England to Australia Air Race in 1919. The London-Australia Air Race was actually a means of returning Australian Flying Corps pilots and crews to Australia after the cessation of hostilities. They were required to fly their aircraft home, with a £10,000 prize as the incentive for the first aircraft manned by Australians to reach Australia in less than 30 days before the end of 1919. Having departed Hounslow Heath Aerodrome near London on 12 November, Ross and Keith Smith landed their Vickers FB27 Vimy G-EAOU 40 at the Darwin Civil Aerodrome at 3.05 pm on Friday 10 December 1919 and were met by the Acting Administrator, Staniforth Smith. They had accomplished the first ever flight from Europe to Australia, a distance of 18,500 km, in 27 days and 20 hours. The following day, the Acting Administrator entertained the heroes at Government House, where they were joined by Lieutenant Hudson Fysh DFC, another veteran of the Light Horse and No.1 Squadron AFC, who had been responsible for clearing the airstrip at Fannie Bay. The aerodrome in Darwin at which they landed was in the suburb of Parap, near the site of the present pool.

    There is a very nice YouTube video on the QANTAS Hanger. The first part is on the Parap Saturday Market and the QANTAS Hanger part starts at 2:36.

    1934 QANTAS Hanger 1934 QANTAS Hanger Vehicles Outside 1934 QANTAS Hanger More Vehicles Outside 1934 QANTAS Hanger Information on 1934 QANTAS Hanger
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Darwin Off The Beaten Path

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