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30 Jun 2023

Canberra & its Military History

The Best Of Canberra: Discover the Historic Duntroon

Welcome to Canberra, the capital city of Australia, where history and culture remain alive along with the city’s progression into the future. One of the fascinating places to visit in this vibrant city is Duntroon, home to the prestigious Royal Military College. In this blog post, we will delve into the rich history of Duntroon and explore why it holds such significance in the training of Australia’s finest army officers.


The Birth Of Duntroon And Why It’s Important

Established in 1913, Duntroon holds a vital place in Australian military history. With the declaration of Canberra as the new capital, the Australian government recognized the need for military protection. Duntroon became the site where officers were trained to safeguard the country’s interests and face any challenges that arose. Since its inception, Duntroon has played a crucial role in shaping the future leaders of the Australian Army.

Exploring Duntroon’s Heritage and Landmarks

As you venture into Duntroon, you will encounter significant landmarks that speak to the area’s rich heritage. One such landmark is the Gun Gates, adorned with captured German guns from World War I. These gates provide a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by the brave soldiers who fought for their country.

Adjacent to the Gun Gates is the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), a unique institution where not only army officers but also air force and navy officers are trained. The ADFA, co-located with Duntroon, reflects the collaborative spirit of Australia’s defence forces. As you explore the area, you will be captivated by the beautiful surroundings, lush trees, and a sense of history that permeates the site.

Duntroon’s Legacy and Robert Campbell’s House

Duntroon’s selection as a training ground was influenced by its historical significance. The site was once home to Robert Campbell’s house, a prominent figure in the region’s early days. Campbell’s house, built in the 1850s, was part of a thriving farmstead known for its sheep-rearing and fine wool production. The Campbell family’s wealth and success in the sheep industry laid the foundation for Duntroon’s establishment.

Today, Robert Campbell’s house serves as the Officers’ Mess, where military personnel gather for camaraderie and formal occasions. Adjacent to the Mess is the parade ground, a symbol of discipline and tradition. It is here that the passing out parade occurs annually, as young cadets proudly march, marking their transition into officers of the Australian Army.

Surrounding the parade ground are the original accommodations built in the early 1900s. These buildings provided a home for the young cadets who came to Duntroon to receive training and become leaders in the Australian Army. The historic architecture and beautiful trees create an inspiring atmosphere that reflects the dedication and commitment of those who have passed through Duntroon’s gates.

Duntroon is a place of great significance, where Australia’s finest army officers have been trained for over a century. The site’s rich history, encompassing the establishment of the Royal Military College and its connection to Robert Campbell’s house, adds layers of depth to the experience. As you immerse yourself in the heritage of Duntroon, you’ll gain a profound appreciation for the sacrifices and dedication of the men and women who have shaped the Australian Army.

When you visit Canberra, make sure to book one of our top-rated tours. We also conduct custom private tours and services, like a step-on tour guide who is extremely knowledgeable about Canberra, its history and can give you local insight and guidance. 

Explore the wonders of Duntroon and other captivating destinations. Our knowledgeable guides will share the captivating stories and magic of our city, providing you with an unforgettable experience. Come and discover the historic treasures of Duntroon, where Australia’s military legacy lives.

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