Darwin, in Australia, is of course named after the English naturalist Charles. In September 1839, the HMS Beagle sailed into the harbor during its survey of the region. Consequently, the port was named Darwin. When the town grew in around the harbor, it was named Palmerston, but about 40 years later the name was changed to Darwin, and it stuck.
We visited here in 2019, and we noted an amazing fact at that time: Darwin is closer to five other world capitals than it is to Sydney, the capital of Australia! It is a city that had to be rebuilt after WWII. In February 1942, 242 Japanese planes attacked Darwin in two waves, the same fleet that bombed Pearl Harbor. But many more bombs were dropped in Darwin, killing 243 people and causing considerable damage. There were more than 100 air raids against Australia during the war, but the one on Darwin was the largest.
The most noticeable thing about the day (Thanksgiving – Happy Turkey Day, everyone!) was the heat – it was 94 degrees F, and as we entered stores with sweat rolling down our faces, and passed locals on the street, nobody was affected by the heat in the least. Everyone looked cool and dry, and we got some stares because our faces were red and sweaty. Another cruise passenger remarked, “It was like the heat just sucked everything out of us!” We agree. We walked to the downtown from the port, about a 25-minute walk, but (wisely) returned via Uber. The ocean water was lovely all around us, and is how we remembered it. The South Pacific continues to dazzle!
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