Living in the rebuilt Darwin
by Jim McDougall
I arrived in Darwin nearly four years after Tracy, just as the Northern Territory became a self-governing territory with it's own Parliament and an optimism you could feel everywhere.
Although the city had been largely rebuilt by then, the destruction caused by Tracy was still very visible everywhere.
Empty concrete slabs still waiting for someone to rebuild on them were scattered through the suburbs, temporary portable home units occupied many blocks and there were even sheets of roofing iron still stuck high in the occasional tree. In fact the lack of trees and vegetation near the coast was one of the features of the landscape, with the remaining trees little more than starkly bare trunks.
Accommodation was still difficult to find and we spent the first three months here living in a tent. Fortunately it was the dry season with pleasantly warm, dry days and cool evenings; to a young family this was simply an extension of a long camping holiday traveling the west coast of Australia.
Darwin tent accommodation