When Qantas was established in 1920, it started with an airplane used primarily for joy rides that sometimes delivered the mail. Just 14 years later, in 1934, the city of Darwin had become integral to air service between Australia and Europe, that Qantas airlines—with its multiple planes—ordered construction of a steel air hangar set right on the outskirts of Darwin. It was used by Qantas, as well as Guinea, which ran regional flights down to Adelaide, though that all changed when the Japanese bombed the city in 1942. Heavily damaged by Japanese bombs, the hangar was fixed, sold, and passed to multiple different businesses, before the Motor Vehicle Enthusiasts Club signed a lease on the building in 1999. Today the hangar holds cars—not aircraft—beneath its 20-foot roof, and has gradually become the ultimate “man cave” escape when visiting Darwin. Here you’ll find engines, classic cars, and even an old-fashioned steam train, and the hangar is a popular stop on small group scooter tours of the town.
Insider Tip: When wandering around the Qantas Hangar, keep an eye out for pieces of the hangar that are marked with orange spray paint, which denotes sections of the building that were damaged in the WWII bombing of Darwin.
Though the hangar is open for public visits, there are “Open Days” around February 19th and the first Sunday in September, when hundreds of people descend on the hangar to chat about airplanes and cars.