Exploring Sydney’s old explosives storage

Back in the days when Sydney was young, they needed to find a place to store their explosives away from the population. So it was decided that a remote bay (at the time) would be the place.

They constructed a series of warehouses that were set into alcoves cut from the sandstone hills around the bay. The warehouses were built with thick walls and light tin roofs. The idea was that if one exploded, it would blow upward and since they where all recessed into the hills the damage would be minimal.

Luckily nothing happened and the site worked without a major incident up until its closure in 1973. Today the bay is a quiet and beautiful hidden gem of Sydney, popular with bush walkers and bathers. The rivers around are crystal clear and inviting.

I heard about this place from a friend who said he saw the roof of a warehouse when he was walking around the area. So we decided to go and check it out properly.

As we headed along the track we found a pond. Totally unexpected. At first we though it was natural. But it turned out to be man made reservoir, quiet a big and deep one.

We slid down this and continued down toward the river. Only to find these massive overgrown walls. They are so high and thick it reminded me of a lost Inca temple.

There was a gap between the walls that curved into a¬†channel. Next to it, other channels led off in different directions. These go¬†to the back of the warehouse buildings. I¬†think that if there was a fire they’d open these up to flood the buildings using the water from the¬†reservoir up the hill.

 

Finally we found the buildings. As I said, they are set back into the hill and the old tin roofs are what you see first. Most are in a bad state (but we did also see ones that had been replaced).

I noticed a lot of sprinkers and lightning infrastructure on the buildings. They where smart back in the day.

We ended up coming out in the middle of the complex. So I headed off to the left to see what I could find.

Big heavy iron doors and shutters guard these buildings. They are all well sealed up. The place is also lined with old cart tracks where nervous men pushed carts of explosives around.

At one of the locked up buildings, I managed to find a crack to wedge my camera in for a few shots.

Here are a few shots of the river from the complex. Beautiful.

This building jutted out over the bay and was used for loading boats. I had read about this building beforehand and knew it had restoration work done to keep it from falling into the water. I’m really glad they did this.

For a structure abandoned over 40 years ago it’s remarkably well preserved. The image below shows the new concrete around the building to preserve it.

This little hut next to the building was open. I am amazed it still had its flooring.

After checking this area, we headed further down the road. We found more warehouses, tracks and something special.

These doors were all welded shut. Again barring our entry to them.

At this point I thought the complex ended at this spooky road. I had lost my group at this point and my torch was out of batteries so I continued on…

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…to find murder shacks.An old building slowly falling apart.

The final building down the track was an old toilet block. Not much to see.

Seriously, my camera and my skill of photography don’t do this place justice. It’s beautiful.

Now I have shown you these warehouses and told you how they are recessed into the hill. You can actually walk around them as there are walk ways and this what they look like. Dark, wet and funnily they have windows on to them. We found one that had been left open. So we where able to get inside for a look.

Inside the building you really get to see how well preserved the place is. Hardly any graffitti and there is treasure! You can even find the left over building supplies of the people who have been restoring the area.

At this point I turned and headed back to the point I entered. Then headed to the right.

This warehouse is the biggest and is totally sealed. This made me sad as there seems to be more to this building than what you can see. Out the back is a huge door. Again, sealed. But notice the rusty doors below it? These are actually air vents to something which can be closed from the outside. Maybe to silence the screaming?

While I was checking it out, I noticed this off to the side. This is weird. Its a brick shed around a wood shed.

Behind it was another section of the hill cut out for another warehouse that was never built.

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That’s it!¬†I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

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