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If aviation is your thing, the RAAF has you covered. At the
RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre in Queensland, you
can see a huge variety of aircraft. Possibly the most interesting,
historically speaking, is the Australian-designed and built
Winjeel, of which only 64 were produced. Amongst the other
aircraft joining this on display are the Russian-built YAK radial-
engined military trainer, two ex-United States Air Force trainers, a
Canadian DHC-1 Chipmunk, a couple of F-111s that are capable
of flying at twice the speed of sound, and the Vietnam War era
‘Huey’ helicopter. These are just a handful of the many displays
that are on site.
Continuing the aerial theme, the RAAF Museum at Point
Cook, near Melbourne, also has a huge variety of planes for you
to see. The displays on offer here include the F-111G ‘Boneyard
Wrangler’, a Canberra Bomber, an F-4E Phantom and part of
the tailplane from a Lincoln bomber. Recently acquired by the
museum is the first F-111C that Australia commissioned in 1973,
which was retired from active service in 2010. This is not yet
on display, but it goes to show that these museums are always
working to preserve military history for generations to come.
The Army Museum Of Western Australia, in Fremantle,
houses a fascinating collection that follows Australian military
history from colonial times through to the present day. It has a
range of gallery exhibits, including a pre-1914 gallery, World War
and trench galleries, and a gallery dedicated to prisoners of war.
The collections here are intended to highlight the contribution
that Western Australian soldiers made to these conflicts, and the
impact that the wars had on Western Australian society.
The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum is a must-
see if you are interested in medals and memorabilia of individual
soldiers. The collection includes many rare pieces, including
two Victoria Crosses, a Star of Gallantry, a Star of Courage and
the only Cross of Valour to be held in a museum. Added to this
are the medals of over 100 soldiers and officers who served at
Gallipoli, uniforms and period costumes, as well as vehicles and
scale models of planes and ships. The heritage-listed building
that they are housed in, built in 1879, only serves to give a further
sense of history to this wonderful collection.
The Australian Army Museum Tasmania, formerly known as
The Military Museum of Tasmania, is located within Anglesea
Barracks, Hobart. Little has changed at the barracks since the
first building was erected in 1814, and as a military precinct,
it is historically very significant. The old Military Gaol was built
in 1847, and now houses the museum, which has a variety
of displays, from depictions of military involvement in colonial
settlement, through to the various conflicts in which Tasmanian
military services have been involved since 1899.
The Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre at Garden Island,
in Sydney, is the place to go for those with an interest in maritime
history. Displays here include access to the only working attack
periscope available to the public in Australia, and a simulated
open bridge from a World War II Destroyer. You can gain a better
understanding of what life at sea is like for those who have
served, and continue to serve, in the Australian Naval Forces.
Various branches of the armed forces have their own
museums, too. The Royal Australian Armoured Corps, for
The award-winning Temora Aviation Museum Flying
Weekends (Winner 2010 Qantas Australian Tourism
Awards – Events & Festivals) has evolved into a major
event – the Warbirds Downunder Airshow.
Warbirds Downunder is the only airshow in Australia
aimed at showcasing Australia’s Military Aviation Heritage
and, as such, it attracts visitors from the local region,
intrastate, interstate and internationally.
On the event day, the gates open at 8.30 am for visitors
to enjoy the permanent and visiting exhibits and aircraft,
as well as vintage and military vehicles. The children are
able to experience Kids Korner, Jumping Castles and other
activities. Aerial action commences at 11.00 am through
to 4.00 pm and showcases the Museum’s world-class
collection of aircraft in flight as well as many visiting aircraft
including Navy Helicopters and RAAF fighter jets. At the
2011 event, over 54 aircraft were flown for the enjoyment of
Tickets go on sale from 15 July 2013.
Warbirds on show
Image courtesy of Rob Fox
320650AE_Temora Military Museum | 1846.indd 24
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