Malabar Battery and friends



The headlands of Malabar National Park in Sydney's south is home to some old lookouts from World War II. Hidden away on the beautiful coastline, you can find dotted around the area several batteries and lookouts such as Malabar Battery, Banks Battery, Henry Battery and several other little lookout posts.

They were used during World War II as coastal defences to protect Botany Bay. Malabar battery had some pretty serious firepower onboard, home to two 6inch Mark XII guns as well as an underground counter bombardment facility with gun crew ready rooms, ammunition supply and an engine room with a small tramway that was cut into the sandstone.
After the war, the guns were removed and the battery was decommissioned, and not much else was done to it, and like most things unkept, it fell into disrepair and is now a popular place for explorers, photographers and I have heard there's even been a rave or two thrown out there.

As I mentioned, there are several different sites to find here, there is the main battery, and then several little ones and one located on the cliff edge that has a great view out to the ocean. Each site has its own little charm and historical appeal, but the main one probably is the most appealing, its here you can find the old tramline, the barracks next to the tram line and also the main multi storey lookout which at the time of writing was still accessible with a little exploring.

Your best bet it plan to spend some time out here, as its a big area and a lot of room to explore and try and find the sites. As well as that, it's a nice area right on the coast with some lovely white cliffs and views out to the ocean. Unfortunately we went out a little late and only had a limited amount of light which meant little amount of time to explore. Inside the battery was too dark to get any photos, and we only got to check out a couple of the structures. I will go back again most likely at sunrise so I have more time to explore everywhere. It's nice at sunset or sunrise!

WHAT: An abandoned coastal defence battery built during World War II at Malabar Headlane in Sydney's south.

ACCESS - EASY: It's easy. There's a car park near by where you can park and then walk around the fence or climb through any of the large holes big enough to drive a car through.

SECURITY - LOW: The holes in the fence are huge, there's no one around except bushwalkers, people walking their dogs or other explorers or photographers. Security is practically non-existent. The area is a national park and huge, so even if you did come across some sort of security (which you won't) there is acres of shrub cover to run and hide in.

INTEREST - 4/10: It's alright, not amazing and but its still kind of cool and a bit of history lesson (I never knew we had defence systems during the war!) and the surrounding area is nice. You get a great contrast of the derelict buildings against the green of the shrubs, the white of the cliffs or the blue of the ocean.

ALONE OR WITH A FRIEND: Either. It's safe to go alone and pretty cool to go with a friend as well as its about a 10-15 minute walk from the car park till you find something. Even grab a coffee or some wine and go sit out at the lookout that looks over the headland and ocean at sunrise/sunset and enjoy it with your better half.

DANGERS: I didn't see too much that would be classed as a danger here personally. if you climb on things you might fall off them, which can happen climbing on your couch at home. In the middle of summer you might encounter a snake in the shrubs, but personally I haven't seen any in my visits here. Inside the main building there is a lot of broken glass, so wear some shoes that can withstand a glass shard or two.
Also after posting several people have informed me the rifle range near by is still active…I have been here week days and weekends and never heard one shot, and it looks like something is being constructed out here, but according to Google the range is still open so if you hear gun shots, that's why, but if you google map it though you will see just how far away the range is from the parts where you walk and the battery and forts/lookouts.

















Disclaimer – The person referred to as “I” in this post is not necessarily me, nor does “I” refer to anyone in particular, likewise with the word 'we'. I will not be held responsible it anyone ventures to these locations and gets in trouble or injured. These words may be a ramble of useless information and the photos found on a lost usb picked up in the gutter? Who knows?

28 comments:

  1. I would be careful about that rifle range. Weekends it is generally not in use, but it is definitely still an active rifle range. A number of clubs still have it as their base and will do for foreseeable future as the commonwealth govt plan to take back the land failed. Google shows the following hours and also reviews of people using it within past few weeks.

    Sunday Closed
    Monday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
    Tuesday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
    Wednesday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
    Thursday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
    Friday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
    Saturday Closed

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  2. thanks for that mate...i was told it was no longer in use and in all the time i have ever been there i never once heard a shot? But good to know incase! If you hear gunshots, then i wouldn't enter! They are redeveloping a large area where the track to this goes so I think you would be safe, but again, if you hear guns, i def wouldn't go in haha

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  3. The Rifle Range is definitely active every Saturday between 9am - 5pm and other days depending on Local or State competitions. The signs are not a lie, and they should not be ignored, they are there for public safety. The coastal section you describe and have photographed is not part of the Malabar Headland National Park, it constitutes the danger zone of the ANZAC Rifle Range. The National Park is only a small section on the western side of the rifle range. You should edit your blog accordingly.

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  4. At some point the land was going to be sold to Club Med, every now and again the rumour starts up i remember hearing this back in 2001 -2002. In the mid to late 90's local rumours that there were gatherings of a satanic cult / devil worshipers that used to use the site to sacrifice animals. The potential sale of this land sounds dodgy as - and i bet my left testie that a big developer such as Stocklands will buy up the land done under the table and before it goes to tender. They bought little bay and also near the coogee cemetery.

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  5. where is this exactly? thanks

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  6. The Rifle Range definitely is in Operation on Saturdays.

    We went out there a few months ago and were prevented from walking around the Headland by security who basically told us they couldn't physically do anything to stop us but it was extremely dangerous and if we proceeded they would have to call the range that people were in the "Danger Zone" and the range would have to cease operation and then most likely call police or whomever to ensure our removal before they could reopen the range.
    Not wanting to ruin the Saturday for a bunch of recreational shooters we courteously left.

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  9. Did you go to the underground tunnels? That place is a maze. Went down yesterday and the place was flooded knee deep. The sound of the floating bottles and spraycans clinkering together echoing through the tunnels and rooms in the dark was craaazy eerie!

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  10. Hi there! This is a nice..keep up the good work , hope your now in my reading list.

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  11. Thanks for a great resource which I'll share. Good blog service.

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  12. Good old Malabar headlands. I was homeless there for a few months (exhausted crisis & emergency accom and city missions were no good to me). Cops stopped me when I was walking out with their big torches one time. Think they were looking for racers on fishermans road then noticed me with some gear of mine. Still don't give you no hassle. Major debate right now about redevelopment but it is historically significant. My dad used to work as a NPWS guide (before he got into the gear) and did tours of the place when I was a young kid. Place hasn't changed a bit. Some people go out shooting sometimes though for giggles which is annoying at 1am. One of my pedo teachers at high school killed himself on the range. A lot of history. Sad dunlop-slazenger's gone as of last week (according to some commenters on here), many a good rave has been held there over the years (waking up covered in black grime and probably asbestos insulation - great times). Wonder if that theme park in the west from my days as a kid is still undeveloped. "Whoa-oh-oh It's magic! You know, never believe it's not so..." rings in my ears when I stumble on old abandoned digs. All the hopes and dreams of the people who have gone before. Especially that place where so much excitement happened, now a tragic marshland.

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  13. Has anyone been here recently??

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    Replies
    1. two weeks ago...looks the same just some new graffiti

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  14. Thanks for a great resource which I'll share. Good blog service.

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  15. Is there still shooting going on during the weekends? Thinking about visiting soon.

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    Replies
    1. The rifle range is used every day of the week. If the red danger flags are flying then it is not safe to walk around the bunkers.

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. Came here yesterday, but couldn't get inside the main bunker as all the doors/windows were boarded up. Any idea how to get in?

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    Replies
    1. Option 1: With a rope sounds silly but seriously a really thick sturdy rope make a know and try get it on one of the rusty sticks pointing out you can climb up because theres one door open under the eyes for now i went today, if not you can bring a ladder i dont know if its work it but if your really keen go for it.

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  18. It is actually well, possibly not impressive together with however , a also sorts of amazing together with an amount of story wisdom. That i for no reason learned we'd defense solutions through world war!and also bordering space is certainly fine. You become a good variety within the derelict homes with earth-friendly within the shrubs, any bright white within the cliffs or simply any purple within the seashore.

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  19. I went there today it was really cloudy started the journey from the beach and just followed the coast but man what a Treck its took us like 30min to finally get to the first building so dont bring a bag to heavy because i did and it just left me with back pain, The big building with the eyes was pretty cool, cant get in but still cool for a photo but just to get there was really hard there was a path way there which was easy to follow but all the bbranches were a real pain the tunnel was really cool pretty spooky but really cool on your way back id suggest you come back the way you started dont do what we did we thought that by going on the direction to the car park would be a good idea just because there was a path way there and god it was a massive HIKe through bushland and muddy water hope this helps and on our way back we almost got caught as their was a big police van in the car park just chilling i donk know why they were there but they were really suss.

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  20. It really is effortless. There exists a car parking not far from to playground and wander across the wall or perhaps rise by means of some of the huge pockets huge adequate to operate a vehicle a vehicle by means of.

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  21. how is the sharpie paint pen not damaging the wall? is the only way to get rid of it to paint over it?

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  22. Where exactly is the carpark? Is it near the beach?

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  23. This is most certainly an active rifle range and open on weekends and used during the weeks by the police and army. If you are caught trespassing, given it is Commonwealth land, you will be arrested and charged with trespass. Oh... you may also get shot - given it is an active rifle range!

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  24. If any of you guys go there and see the tag "ARSB" please tell me, I'm trying to find out who it is

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This is a site for all the urban explorers and abandoned structure loving people out there. This is a place where I will share the places I have been to and seen with like minded folk. If there are any spots I haven't put up here and you think are worthy, drop me a line!

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