Cyclone Tracy

The Territory Government and its partners are encouraging people to share stories of community spirit and resilience, acknowledging all those involved in bringing Darwin back to life after Cyclone Tracy.

The 40th Anniversary of Cyclone Tracy is an opportunity to reflect on our resilience and how far our city has come since the cyclone hit. It is also a time to acknowledge those who supported the reconstruction effort and all those who helped shape Darwin into a thriving modern city.

This is a place where you can share your stories, submit your events and register to receive updates and latest news from the Territory Government and the City of Darwin.

To get involved view program of events.Northern Territory Government logo   City of Darwin


The Territory Government and its partners are encouraging people to share stories of community spirit and resilience, acknowledging all those involved in bringing Darwin back to life after Cyclone Tracy.

The 40th Anniversary of Cyclone Tracy is an opportunity to reflect on our resilience and how far our city has come since the cyclone hit. It is also a time to acknowledge those who supported the reconstruction effort and all those who helped shape Darwin into a thriving modern city.

This is a place where you can share your stories, submit your events and register to receive updates and latest news from the Territory Government and the City of Darwin.

To get involved view program of events.Northern Territory Government logo   City of Darwin


The Territory Government and its partners are encouraging people to share stories of community spirit and resilience, acknowledging all those involved in bringing Darwin back to life after Cyclone Tracy. To share your stories and memories of Cyclone Tracy, please fill in the form below.


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  • A Small White Christmas Tree by Joan Turkington

    about 1 year ago

    It was Christmas Day, 1974, and the 6 am news bulletin had just ended. I was sitting on the edge of the divan with the telephone receiver clutched tightly in my hand, anxiously waiting for the number to answer.

    As I sat there, perched tensely on the edge of the divan, I found myself staring at the small white artificial Christmas tree which stood at the other end of the room.

    Was it only last night that it had looked so bright and gay with its multi-coloured baubles and red, green, silver and cerise tinsel decorations twinkling as the light... Continue reading

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  • I lost my Best Mate to Cyclone Tracy

    by Peter Neilson, over 1 year ago

    I was sitting in my soon to be in-laws lounge room in Hamilton, Victoria when news of Tracy came on TV.

    I had just received a card and note from Gary and Margaret Fenton wishing us all the best for Christmas and telling me that this was their last season in Darwin as Gary, a geologist with BHP was to be transferred back to South Australia.

    In a later bulletin the authorities were asking for help to identify casualties . As I recall they had a name but nothing more. I rang and gave a description of my mate who... Continue reading

  • Cyclone Tracy TIGER

    over 1 year ago

    Story posted on behalf of Mike Mchutchison

    As a volunteer for the clean-up I had the experience of being with a group of volunteers out working burying fridges, when the boys said to me “Do not move you have a Tiger behind you”, I froze knowing the Darwin Zoo was affected. I watched the boys move slowly back and then a large paw went on my shoulder I almost passed out in fright only to find the Mayor nicknamed Tiger Brennan and Rolf Harris was there. We had to carry permits with us and Rolf Harris drew a... Continue reading

  • The only time in my life I have returned early from a fishing trip early...

    by charmaine woods, over 1 year ago

    I came in from the sea on the afternoon of Christmas Eve 1974. At the time I was making a living fishing for barramundi between the waters of Darwin and Arnhem Land. I had planned to stay out for a few of days but, although the weather was still, there was something in the way the sky looked and I could tell the seas weren’t happy so I returned early. I was paying $12 a week to park my caravan behind a shop on Smith St and was living there with my girlfriend, but she wasn’t there when I returned.

    ... Continue reading
  • Are We There Yet? 14 people in a station wagon

    by Diana Cumberland, over 1 year ago

    I was 10 at the time, living at 71 Lee Point Road Moil, with my parents Anne and Stephen Brown, 8 year old brother Clayton and 4 month old sister Evette. Dad was bouncing at Lims Hotel and wasn't able to get home. I remember waking to the sound of smashing glass, Mum pushed the wardrobes up against the louvers trying in vain to protect us.

    I don't know why we left the house, fear must have gripped Mum as she gripped the three of us on the back step of the house. I remember looking out and seeing debris... Continue reading

  • Memories of An “Ansett” Hostess

    over 1 year ago

    Story posted on behalf of Susan Clarson-Griffin

    I had been an ANSETT HOSTESS for only 6 months and just out of training when I was among the crew who volunteered to fly our Boeing 727-200 registration VH - RMW into Darwin to assist with the evacuation. We flew into Darwin directly from Brisbane and I clearly recall the utter amazing numbness felt by each of us as the doors were opened and we had our first glimpse of what was left of the Darwin Airport Terminal.

    It is a blur all these years on – however the... Continue reading

  • Walker Family Story - Ambon Street Wagaman

    by DebHendry, over 1 year ago
    Before_after_ct

    Our Cyclone Tracy Memories (the night from hell) - Michelle Walker Roberts (aged 20), Deb Walker Hendry (aged 14) and Jannine Walker Hardy (aged 12).

    It was Christmas Eve 1974 and Michelle's 21st birthday pending on Xmas Day (luckily we had the party the weekend before). Our interstate relatives staying with us that night were Nanna, Pop, and an Uncle with our family being Mum, Dad, us three girls and our three pets. Our home was in Ambon Street, Wagaman. We were all in for more than we bargained for and a night to remember.

    As daylight faded and the rain and winds picked up dad decided to take heed of... Continue reading

  • Story of my experience of Cyclone Tracy

    over 1 year ago

    Story posted on behalf of Maree Yates   

    It is 40 years since I experienced the cyclone which devastated Darwin.  My remembrances of that time are sometimes clear but at times it seemed that days went missing.  It was something which I will never forget and which I recall occasionally especially now with this significant anniversary looming. I also remember the generosity of spirit of Darwinians, their larrikinism, sense of humour, the compassion of all Australians, and the unique experience which I had. Everyone who survived that natural disaster has a unique experience of Cyclone Tracy and many... Continue reading

  • Three recollections from Roland Griffin

    by Roland G, over 1 year ago

    Cyclone Tracy Recollections - Roland Griffin

    1. Garbage collection duty. My friends Kathy Devine and her fiancé Bill Sims and I had moved out of the Esplanade Hostel a few days before Tracy to a house in McColl St, Fannie Bay that they were in the process of buying. The house was largely destroyed overnight and Kathy and I moved back to the Hostel on Christmas Day. The hostel was relatively unscathed and still had a roof and a gas-fired kitchen so life was comparatively good.  Bill was in Melbourne at the time but he was an... Continue reading

  • Tracy's legacy

    by awatson, over 1 year ago

    Our daughter was just 10 weeks old when Tracy came to visit us in Jingili.  We spent those dark hours with our neighbours, huddled in their hallway in a sort-of tent we made from mattresses: four adults, a 12-year-old, a 10-week-old, and a rather large labrador (the cat wasn't seen until the next day...)  Obviously, it was truly terrifying, and it was a long time before we could talk of the experience without that little catch in the voice.  And I guess I would never say that I was glad to have had the experience - it would be a... Continue reading