Australian Army 7th and 9th Division Military Camps

Tinaroo Falls Dam and Lake Tinaroo

Military camp
Atherton Tablelands

Tinaroo Falls Dam Road, Tinaroo 4872

Scarce evidence remains of the military camp sites formerly occupied by the 9th and 7th Divisions at Danbulla, due to post-war agricultural clearing and inundation by the waters of the Tinaroo Falls Dam after 1957. However, a few building slabs and army mess fireplaces can still be discovered in the scrub surrounding Lake Tinaroo.


In October 1942 Prime Minister John Curtin requested that the 9th Division be released from service in North Africa after the siege of Tobruk and the battles of El Alamein, and returned to Australia to be utilized against the Japanese in the Pacific. The Division arrived by sea at Fremantle in February 1943 and welcome-home parades were held in every Australian capital city. In March the Division began regrouping on the Atherton Tableland near the settlements of Kairi, Danbulla and Barrine to begin jungle warfare training before embarking on the New Guinea campaign. By early 1944 the former camp sites of the 9th Division were occupied by units of the 7th Division for recuperation and training on return from the north coast of New Guinea.

The fireplace 100 metres west of the Tinaroo fire station is a particularly large example about 3 metres in height. Constructed of local rocks and cement, it contains a concrete drain as a chimney. 7th Division units occupying this area in mid-1944 included, 2/9 Field Company, 2/25 Field Park Company, 2 Engineer Signal Section and 2/55 Light Armoured Division.


Pearce, Howard (contributing author).

Vera Bradley. I Didn’t Know That: Cairns and districts Tully to Cape York, 1939–1946, Service personnel and civilians, Boolarong Press, Brisbane, 1995.

Howard Pearce. WWII: NQ: A cultural heritage overview of significant places in the defence of north Queensland during World War II. Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane, 2009.