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Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

A tree is dedicated to the men and women who built and maintained " the track"  between Alice Springs and Darwin during World War Two.

The outbreak of war in late 1939 forced the military to seriously consider the transportation issues in the north as the threat of war with the Japanese also inferred a threat of invasion.  The northern coastline was the obvious invasion route but it was also the key to providing support for allied troops in the Pacific.  A dependable north south route through the Territory became a priority.

In August 1940, the Commonwealth Government approved the building of an all-weather road between Alice Springs and Darwin.  The task of building the various sections was divided between the road authorities of New South Wales; Queensland; South Australia and Victoria; a truly national effort.  The road was completed just before the 1941/42 wet season, however the extreme weather conditions of the Territory, and the increased volume of traffic using the route required constant maintenance and upgrading. 

The bombing of Darwin in February 1942 confirmed the fears of military command and more than justified the construction of the North South road.  Darwin was evacuated in the wake of further bombings and Alice Springs, at the other end of the North South Road, became the Territory’s main military base.

The Track was called the North South Road until April 1944 when the name was changed to the Stuart Highway, after the explorer John McDouall Stuart who first crossed the continent from south to north in 1862.


Address:Memorial Terrace, Adelaide River War Cemetery, Adelaide River, 0846
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -13.231005
Long: 131.114339
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Tree
Monument Theme:Conflict


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:August 1995
Front Inscription

This living memorial is dedicated to the men and women who built and maintained "The Track" between Alice SPrings and Darwin in World War II.

It also commemorates the thousands of service persons who travelled north on "The Track" to defend Australia against its enemies.

The dedication of this plaque is a joint venture between "Back To The Track 1945-1995" and the Commonwealth Department of Veterans Affairs as part of the "Australia Remembers 1945-1995" commemorative year.

"Back To The Track 1945-1995", A convoy of vintage ex-military vehicles departed Alice Springs 1st August, 1995 to retrace the journey along "The Track".

The convoy camped in this area and dedicated this memorial.  The convoy arrived in Darwin on 15th August, 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities in the Pacific Region.

Source: TOH, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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