After a fun trip to Bare Island earlier this year we decided to do a little research about fortifications in and around Sydney and were surprised to find how many there are! Wow – what an eye opener! This has put in motion an entire list of new sites to visit and explore.
Our latest adventure found us climbing the old fortifications at Middle Head. They are a fair bit bigger than Bare Island and don’t require a tour to investigate.
The first fort was built on the site back in 1801 with the last battery constructed in 1942. Middle Head was part of our military’s outer harbour defences. The underground section of the fort is most interesting with own underground power room that is supported by iron columns. During the early years of the Vietnam war, some of these rooms were used for training the troops heading off to fight how to withstand torture and interrogation. Gosh – in some ways I’m glad the walls couldn’t talk when we visited!
We parked our car (please note that the car park has metered parking. You will need coins or your credit card) and took the short walk down the path to the gun emplacements. We crouched, crawled and climbed into all the different spaces with our torches identifying lost of interesting finds. The ladders underground are blocked off, so we couldn’t have a look at the underground spaces BUT we did get to investigate many of the rooms and compartments.
With the fort right on the cliffs you do need to keep and eye on the kids when exploring. The outer guns sit within metres of the cliff so we didn’t explore those at all (although T took 5 minutes out to go and have a look himself).
Situated on Old Fort Road, Mosman atop the cliffs of the harbour, it is a site worth visiting just for the view.