Just north of the Exmouth airport I noticed a street sign that read “Krait – Z Force Memorial.” I wasn’t sure what it was so I pulled over to give it a look. Just off the road is a small dirt parking lot and a walkway that leads to an east-facing overlook with a view of the Exmouth Gulf. I made my way up the pathway from the parking lot and found a terrific rest stop.
The bluff has been turned into a memorial site that includes some interesting naval artifacts and a wood picnic bench and patio cover. The view is spectacular and would make a nice place to bring a picnic lunch. On the center of the wood picnic table is a small brass plaque that reads, “Built by 509 ACU and 13 Fd Sqn, April 2006.” The memorial name “Z Force” and the names of military units as those who contributed the picnic table indicated that this was a military memorial.
I did a little research and found that Z Force is an Allied Special Forces unit that was active in World War II conducting reconnaissance and sabotage against Japanese forces. The unit included members from Australia, New Zealand, Holland and the United Kingdom. The unit conducted numerous assaults including an attack on Japanese merchant ships in Singapore on 02 September 1943. The 11 member crew of the MV Krait dyed their skin and hair to look like local fishermen (this explains the name of the memorial). They paddled into Singapore harbor on small folboats (kayaks) and attached limpet (magnetic) mines to the ships sinking 39,000 tons of shipping vessels. The MV Krait was a captured Japanese fishing boat named after the small but deadly asian Krait snake.
Just south of the memorial site is a military base that my tour guide said was still in operations as a Special Ops base. You can see the Doppler radar dome and other base facilities from this vantage point. The stairs lead down to the beach and I didn’t see any “No trespassing” signs so I think that this might make a good beach stop for folks heading to and from Exmouth.
Some ships bulkheads and hatches were located around the site as well as this naval mine. As this is the Krait – Z Force Memorial, I wonder if some of these ship parts and hatches are part of the MV Krait vessel itself? This place is an interesting slice of history and a beautiful beach stop. If you are looking for a picnic spot near Exmouth you might give this rest stop a try.
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