The North Head Fort

I had a nice walk around the North Head Fort. It is an old facility that made up part of Sydney Harbor’s defenses and the coastal defenses network of Australia.

From 1934, defence facilities were installed on the headland but were wound down in 1945. From 1953, there was a School of Artillery and it used the former defence facilities. The harbour reserve was established in 1979. The School of Artillery relocated to Puckapunyal army base in Victoria in 1998, but an artillery museum remains on the headland. In 2001, the site was passed to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust for management. In 2010 the artillery collection was moved to the Army Museum Bandiana in Victoria; the Trust plans to establish an exhibition on the defence of Sydney on the site. There are still remains of the gun emplacements and artificial tunnels used by the army, many of which can be seen either by the public or on guided tours.

This massive gun was originally stationed across the harbor in at Signal Hill.  Signal hill was shut down and locked up so this beast needed a new home.

The camouflage has been restored on this emplacement to show how it would have looked back in the day. The bush around it would have all been cleared and this is illustrated in photos of when the site was active. In the years since, the bush has been replanted.

The day I visited was during the week so there were no tours and no access to the underground tunnels. Below illustrated how far I could go. Sticking my camera through the hole in the door and firing off a few shots.

Further along from this gun emplacement was another which seems exactly the same, but very neglected. Restoration is slow because the trust that looks after it is badly funded. So please go to the site! Pay the $7 for the tour and make a donation. Totally worth it.

While walking back to my car, I found a sign pointing to a anti-aircraft emplacement. It really just looked like a hole in the ground.

Now go to [part 2], the tunnels which are accessible during the tour of the site.

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