The Track: 1000 Miles to War


In 1939, as the Allied forces prepared to defend northern Australia, overland transportation to the north became a strategic priority.

Civilians, servicemen and servicewomen were engaged in road and airfield building, and establishing bases and infrastructure along the Stuart Highway as they prepared to defend northern Australia.

Extensively researched by the Northern Territory Library, this exhibition focuses on the transformation of a rutted dirt stock-route to a fully functioning highway supporting crucial military operations during the Second World War.

Items in the The Track: 1000 Miles to War Collection

Northern Territory Road Map
by H.E.C. Robinson Pty. Ltd.

Original Government Road Train that operated between the railheads, prior to and during the Second World War

Basil Stahl with theodolite surveying the North-South military road

Road construction team using a 'chinaman' to load road fill onto a dump truck at Dunmarra

Trucks driving along unsealed section of the road