On my recent 48 hours in Darwin I discovered the site of the Rocksitters Club. Not that I was looking for it, I accidentally came across the spot on my visit to the reserve and parkland at East Point.
I had driven up past the suburb of Fannie Bay to see the Darwin Military Museum that now occupies part of one of the original concrete gun emplacements. The former command post and control centre housed long-range 9.2 inch guns that were built on the most eastern point to defend Darwin but they proved to insufficient to defend the Japanese bombing raids in 1942.
As for the Rocksitters hangout, a plaque marks the spot – when lightning hit their favourite rock they placed this memorial but Darwin’s Rocksitters are undeterred and still meet in the area near their devastated pet rock every Saturday from 6pm. Who are the Rocksitters? A group of journalists gathered there in 1974 to ‘sink a few tinnies’ and ‘spin a few yarns’ whilst watching the sun set over the Arafura Sea. Championships are held and records kept for the longest time spent rock sitting.
Only the hardiest of drinkers were able to set records in the past as their original ‘rock’ would sink under a metre of water at high tide.
Despite the area being known for a Defence Post it is a tranquil place to visit. This gun emplacement is minus a gun these days but I recall in the days I lived in Darwin it was used by the Top End Folk Club.
The rear view and entrance of one of the gun turrets.
The low roof building is a bunker, sunk into the ground for more protection
Also in the area I found this sail windmill that tells us that Darwin is embracing alternative renewable energy technologies by using wind and solar power systems to test the effectiveness of wind turbine physics in conjunction with photovoltaic cell technology.
Best time to visit Darwin, in the dry season – coming very soon.