South West Pacific Area Campaign

A look into the South West Pacific Area (SWPA)

South West Pacific Area Campaign

General Douglas MacArthur was appointed Supreme Allied Commander South-West Pacific Area (SWPA) on 18 April 1942.  The South-West Pacific was one of three theatres of World War Two in the Pacific region between 1942 and 1945.

The South-West Pacific Area included Australia, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies (excluding Sumatra), New Guinea (including the Bismarck Archipelago), and the western part of the Solomon Islands.

Within the SWPA, campaigns were waged with often heavy losses including:

• Philippines (1941–42) (Battle of Bataan and Corregidor);

• Solomon Islands campaign 1943–45;

• New Guinea campaign, 1942–45 including:

    > Battle of the Coral Sea 4–8 May 1942, ( under US Navy command);

    > Kokoda Track campaign 1942;

    > Battle of Milne Bay (25 August – 7 September 1942);

    > Battles of Buna-Gona 1942;

    > Bismarck Sea 2 March 1943;

    > Salamaua-Lae campaign 1943;

    > Aitape-Wewak campaign 22 April 1944;

    > Battle of Timor 1942–43;

    > Battle of Leyte Gulf 20 October 1944; and

    > the Borneo campaign (1945)

The South West Pacific Area (SWPA) Gallery

The Gallery comprises examples of cooperation between Australian and US armed forces within the SWPA. The examples are:

Malaria was a major threat to the progress of the Allied advance in SWPA. Australian Medical Corps conducted wide-ranging tests to develop anti-malarial drugs which were then mass produced by American pharmaceutical companies. This ensured that malaria was never as serious for the Allies as for the Japanese.The Battle of Milne Bay was of particular importance to Australian forces. The battle thwarted the Japanese plans to capture Port Moresby and cut Australia off from the US. It was the first land defeat of the Japanese during the war in August 1942 and was seen as one of the turning points for the war in the Pacific.The Battle of the Bismarck Sea was of major significance as it was the first time that aircraft alone had destroyed an invasion force.

Guided Tours

Explore our exhibits with knowledgable volunteers guiding you.

Easy Location

Located within a walking distance from train and bus stations in Brisbane's shopping district.

Group Discounts

Visiting with a group? Get discounts of up to 50% off!

Real Photos & Newsreel Footage

See real photos, videos and newsreel footage from the war.

Itinerary

Onsite Accessibility
Wheelchair access. Access to the building and all public areas are wheelchair accessible.
Facilities
Public toilets are located in the Museum premises. Male and female toilets have wheelchair access.
Food
Cafes and eateries. Located conveniently inside the adjacent MacArthur Central precinct, you will find a number of cafes and restaurants and a food hall upstairs. Alternatively, the Queen Street Mall offers a number of cafes and food outlets.

Museum Entry

Adult
17+ years
$10/person
  • 1 day pass
  • Access to all exhibits
  • Free tour guide
  • Video, photo & audio material
Student
with valid ID
$5/person
  • 1 day pass
  • Access to all exhibits
  • Free tour guide
  • Video, photo & audio material

Reviews

Excellent exhibition of MacArthur and life in WWII Brisbane- his HQ office is well preserved. You can self guide or go with a guide at no extra cost. Choose the guide he knows his stuff.
Gerald Varley
December 2021
This is an excellent resource for anyone who wishes to learn more about general MacArthur's tenure in Brisbane. Not only because of the video, photo and audio material, but because the museum is staffed by people who lived through the time. Thank you for such a wonderful exhibit.
Chris Read
September 2020
Just as it says, General Douglas MacArthur's HQ in our own Brisbane. Great volunteer staff who greet you and guide you to MacArthur"s office/museum and very helpful and informative. Good information, videos and displays of the war and of course MacArthur's office itself. Walk where MacArthur walked and worked during this terrible time in our history and feel the history and perhaps the man's presence from a time past.
Mike Smith
July 2018

$10/adult

April 2024
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
Payment Options

We will gladly accept online payment in the methods below, as well as cash or cheque in person.

Have a Question?

Feel free to reach out and we're happy to answer any questions you may have.

Have you seen enough? Book tickets today!

Related Exhibits

Liked this? Check out some of our other exhibits we are currently showing.

$10

/person
Exhibit

Who Was General Douglas MacArthur?

US General of the Army Douglas MacArthur is one of the most controversial characters in US military history...

$10

/person
Exhibit

Brisbane At War

Brisbane was home to fewer than 350,000 people in 1941. Over the next three years the city itself had reached over...