Sydney Coal Loader

A while back I got bored. So I got in the car and drove over to Balls Head because it has a name that makes my inner 15 year old self giggle.

What I found was cool.

Back in the day Sydney used a lot of coal. So much so, we had shiploads coming in. So they needed some place to feed the city and surrounding areas and this was the answer.

The building itself opened in the 1920s and operated up to the 1990s. Its a very simple structure. Its just a massive sandstone platform with long running tunnel underneath. You can see these in the photos above.

These tunnels held coal carts. They would run up and down these tunnels and be filled with coal from above. An example of one of the carts is shown on site and in the photos below.

The tunnels themself are now clear of the rail tracks as the area was being prepared for public use (more on that below). Now its just a very tall tunnel to stroll down.

In the ceilings above you can see the old dumpers that would drop coal into the waiting carts.

These photos don’t capture the scale of these tunnels. They are huge and long. You can feel the air get cooler as you move into them. Yet they are vast and open.


Unlike most of these old industrial sites, the coal loaders future is bright. It has been converted into a sustainable garden and green space for the public to visit.

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