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Report - Malabar Battery, Sydney - December 2015

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by WildBoyz, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    History

    Malabar Battery, also known as Boora Point Battery, was constructed at Malabar Head in 1943, during WW2. The battery comprised part of the coastal defence positioned at Bare Island Fort, Henry Battery and Banks Battery; it was built as an aggregate to reinforce the existing structures in place. Early in 1942, after the fall of Singapore, the Australian government feared a Japanese invasion and since the country lacked defences they sought help from the United States. In reality, Japan never planned an invasion as it was deemed unfeasible to try and carry out a takeover; their only significant action against Australia involved advancing through the South Pacific, in an attempt to isolate Australia by slowing the advance of allied forces.

    At Malabar Battery, two six inch Mark XII gun emplacements were installed. In addition to the guns, an underground counter bombardment facility was constructed, adding to the overall firepower of the defensive structure. This was fitted with ‘gun crew ready rooms’, an ammunition supply/store area and an engine room. A single track tramway was also fitted, traversing from the ammunition drop off point to the ammunition supplies in the basement, and finally to the two gun emplacements themselves. Further sections to the battery included northern and southern searchlight blockhouses, and a barracks and toilet block for the facility. After the war, like most of the other lookouts and defences across Australia, Malabar Battery was decommissioned and the guns were removed. Since then the site has remained abandoned and an alluring target for Australia’s graffiti ‘artists’.

    Our Version of Events

    Next on our list of sites to see: the legendary Malabar Battery. Originally, we had intended to meet up with another explorer who’s located in Sydney and he had wanted to take us out to this location, but, due to unfortunate timings, he was busy. Nevertheless, we took it upon ourselves to get on a train, then a bus, and then a second one, all the way down to Malabar. By all accounts, the area looks particularly picturesque when looking at photographs of the coastline, but heed our warning – looks can be deceiving! Only when we were happily on our way, on the first bus, did we noticed that a couple of our fellow travellers were wearing ankle tags. As various normal-looking people got off, more and more dodgy looking characters got on. The bus suddenly began to feel like a prison transfer, rather than a public service. At the point where we had to change buses, we noticed a group of security guards gathered at the bus stop; their job it seemed was to hop on the buses as they drove into Maroubra and Malabar. Once again we found ourselves in ghetto territory. In the beginning, judging by the names, we were expecting to find small Spanish-looking towns: how wrong our first impressions were.

    We hopped off the bus in the middle of a housing estate somewhere, after I saw a bay out of the window that looked strangely familiar. Indeed, we’d managed to drive to the opposite side of the bay so had to walk back towards our desired location. This didn’t matter so much as we were able to enjoy some of Malabar’s fantastic coastline.

    It took less time than we’d imagined to cross the bay, and before we knew it we were standing outside the nearby water treatment plant. Since it’s inconveniently in the way, blocking access to the wilderness behind it – where the batteries are located – we were forced to traverse the cliffside. We made slow progress up the rocks, but eventually we caught sight of the buildings we’d been looking for. Careful to avoid snake and other beasties, we wandered into narrow sandy tracks within the bushes. They continued on for quite some time and, since the bushes were high, we weren’t able to see where we were going. Continuing on, using pure instinct (luck), we eventually stumbled upon the crumbling remains of the former battery. The intense glow of the graffiti must have guided us there.

    With daylight fading quickly we decided to cover the site as quickly as possible, hence why I didn’t manage to get any photographs of the spotlight nests. It didn’t really matter though since there was plenty more to see. At first it seemed that all of the entrances had been sealed, as we’d been warned by others, but after some searching in the bushes we soon discovered what we were looking for: a great big dirty way inside. And that was that really, once inside it felt a little bit like the film, Outpost, with its long concrete tunnels and various chambers. Fortunately, there didn’t appear to be any murderous Nazi ghouls or experiments inside this bunker, so we made it back out again just as the sun had fully set. Only at that point, though, did we realise that we had to wander back through the bush to get out again…

    Explored with Ford Mayhem.

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    1: Some Australian Wilderness

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    2: One of the Spotlight Nests in the Distance

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    3: Inside the Bunker attached to the Observation Post

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    4: Former Trenched Walkway and Barracks

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    5: Former Tramway

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    6: Main Observation Post

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    7: Inside the Underground Bunker

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    8: Stairs (up) to one of the Gun Emplacements

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    9: Doorway to a Former Ammunition Store

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    10: Ammunition Storeroom

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    11: Heading Towards the Second Tunnel

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    12: Fallen Ventilation Shaft

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    13: More Underground Tunnel

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    14: Underground Rooms in the Bunker

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    15: Old Ventilation Duct

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    16: Large Underground Corridor

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    17: Following the Former Tramlines

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    18: End of the Line (Flooded Second Ammo Store Downstairs)

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    19: Gun Emplacement Outside

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    20: Huntsman Spider

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    Merry Christmas Everyone!
     
    #1 WildBoyz, Dec 25, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015

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