A building with RFDS logo

RFDS Darwin Tourist Facility wins NT's Best Visitor Experience

Date published

19 Nov 2019

The RFDS Darwin Tourist Facility is the proud recipient of the 'Visitor Experience Award' at the Brolga Awards - the official tourist awards program of the Northern Territory. 

A total of 29 businesses and two individuals were winners at the 33rd Brolga Awards which recognise and encourage tourism businesses that strive for excellence in every area of their operation. Winning a Brolga Award is the industry’s highest accolade and the recipients represent the best products and services in the Northern Territory.

Three people in black formal wear smile at the camera. They are holding a trophy that reads 2019 BROLGA AWARD.

Accepting the award, RFDS Central Operations Chief Financial Officer Stephen Batt says the RFDS is honoured to have been recognised for the RFDS Darwin Tourist Facility. 

“We’re very proud to be counted amongst so many quality tourist attractions and operators," Mr Batt says. 

"We are privileged to share John Flynn's vision of the 'Flying Doctor' with tourists from Australia and overseas, and I thank our entire team for their hard work and commitment." 

The RFDS Darwin Tourist Facility, which opened in July 2016, brings together two iconic elements of the Territory: the RFDS, which began operations in the NT with the opening of its Alice Springs Base in 1939, and the bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942 – the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia. 

“Both of these historic events helped forge the resolve and resilience of the people who live in the Northern Territory,” Mr Batt says.

The facility features the latest in computer-generated imagery and virtual reality (VR). 

Using individual headsets, the award-winning VR film enables visitors to immerse themselves back in time to 1942 and view a recreation of the bombing of Darwin Harbour as if they were actually there on the waterfront. 

Located on Stokes Hill Wharf, the world-class tourist attraction boasts a range of technology and features including:

Close up photograph of a female with long red hair wearing a black virtual reality headset.
  • a full-size replica of a Japanese Zero aircraft;
  • a video floor display showing Darwin Harbour as it was in 1942;
  • the walk-through of a retired RFDS Pilatus PC-12 aircraft;
  • holograms that bring to life key characters in the stories including war time Prime Minister John Curtin and RFDS founder Reverend John Flynn;
  • a replica bomb cutaway to show the inner workings; and
  • Touchscreens and story boards telling the RFDS story.