Sydney, New South Wales
Garden Island, before it was connected to the mainland, circa 1910–1928.
|Location||2 km (1 mi) north-east of Sydney CBD|
|LGA(s)||City of Sydney|
Garden Island is the site of Fleet Base East of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Situated above Garden Island on the Potts Point ridgeline is HMAS Kuttabul, the RAN's administrative, training and logistics support establishment for the Sydney area, named after the converted ferry HMAS Kuttabul which was sunk near Garden Island in Sydney Harbour by a Japanese midget submarine in May 1942. Garden Island is the principal east coast naval base of the RAN, and home port to many of the RAN's major ships.
Garden Island is so-called because it was planted in 1788, in the first months of European settlement in Australia, to serve as a kitchen-garden by officers and crew of the First Fleet vessel HMS Sirius. Initials carved into a sandstone rock on the site are believed to be the oldest colonial graffiti in Australia, comprising the letters "FM 1788," representing Frederick Meredith who served as Sirius' steward. On 7 September 1811 ownership of Garden Island was declared to have transferred to the Governor's estate with produce dedicated for the exclusive use of Government House. The transfer had practical effect but due to an administrative error it was not formally registered, leaving the land in the legal ownership of the Navy which successfully sought its return in 1866.
Sandstone fortifications, built on the island during the 1820s to protect Sydney from a much-feared Russian attack, also survive. Garden Island also boasts what is claimed to be Australia's first lawn tennis court. Built in 1880, it is still in use, although the lawn was replaced in 1960.
Built in 1951, the Federal Government has announced it will remove the Hammerhead Crane that has been a landmark of Garden Island Naval Base.
Garden Island was opened to the public for the first time in decades in November 2002.
Garden Island was originally an island in Sydney Harbour, but extension of the base and the construction of a dry dock in the channel between the island and the mainland have resulted in its connection to the mainland shore at Potts Point from the 1940s. The wharves of the naval base now stretch the length of the eastern side of Woolloomooloo Bay, from the suburb of Woolloomooloo to the end of the original island.
There is a tunnel system under Garden Island that was once used by the Royal Australian Navy. Within this tunnel system was a power station, offices and air raid shelters. This tunnel complex also had a command centre. Other tunnels also exist which headed further in towards Kings Cross.
The tunnels were used to move guns from one side of the island to the other. There are also older tunnels that were used to transport ammunition. The tunnels are now used for electrical wiring and communications.
The island also has a pit that was built in the 1800s and was used as a storage facility in case the island was ever attacked. The entrance to this pit has now been sealed.
|1945||Captain Cook Dock||Constructed between 1941-45 and opened 24th March 1945 as the largest Graving Dock in southern hemisphere. 1,139 feet long, 45 feet deep.|
|1888||Royal Navy/Royal Marine Barracks||Northern & southern balconies added in 1892|
|1888||Kitchens/Laundry||Meals were prepared in kitchens and taken into Barracks for eating|
|Detention Quarters||Cell door bolted to wall behind Barracks. The only relic remaining of Detention Quarters|
|1942||Tanks/air raid shelter||Underground water tanks for kitchens made into air raid shelters for 100 people|
|1928||Lubricating Oil Store||Modernised and lift added in 1984 to become Dockyard Supply Centre|
|1893||Sheerlegs Crane||Constructed by Easton & Anderson, then the largest crane in the world. Design Load 160T and Test loaded to 200T. Removed in 1940|
|1951||Hammerhead Crane||One of only 15 still standing around the world, the crane has not been used since 1996. Department of Defence has announced removal.|
|1788||Original Gardens||Gardens were first started on 11 February 1788 for crew of HMS Sirius and used by various ships till 1806. Hence the name Garden Island, given in 1788 in January|
|1893||Naval Stores||Water hydraulics provides the power for the lifts and hoists|
|1893-c.1960||Standard gauge rail||Tramway operated around the Island. It was extended to Dock in the 1940s. Steam crane locomotives provided motive power|
|1889||Chain & Anchor Store/Battery Shop||Submarine batteries maintained. Fire station located at end of Store|
|1889||Spar Shed/Torpedo Store||Early Church Services in upstairs Dining Room|
|1889||Sawmill/Factory||Machinery in factory run by belts from a main steam driven shaft
|1916-1960s||Cable & Chain Testing Machine||Used to pull cables & chain to test links and ends|
|1895||Coal Store||Storage for nearly 500 tons of coal, with its timber Coaling Wharf at the front, serviced with rail lines|
|1913||HMAS Parramatta Bow||Stern is located in a park in Parramatta|
|1924||Gun workshop and store||Converted to the RAN Heritage Centre in 2005|
|Various||Memorials dedicated to ships of the Royal Australian Navy|
|1893||Tidal Baths||Closed in 1973 due to Harbour water quality and condition of the pool|
|1886||2nd Boat Shed||Since 2005 the Dockyard Display for the RAN Heritage Centre|
|1896||3rd Boat Shed||First boatshed built west of island in 1858|
|1893-5||Administration Building||Originally with single story on each side. Extended in 1920s & 30s.|
|1942||H.M.A.S. Kuttabul Memorial||The site of the sinking of the ferry Kuttabul with a loss of 21 lives|
|1887-9||Rigging House||First major building constructed. Upper floor was a sail loft, lower floor-boat shed and
rigging house. The sail loft was used as a ballroom and function centre in the years after it was completed
|1942||Slipways/ Air Raid Shelter||Northern Slipway later used as an stell reinforced air raid shelter. The steel plate was originally for the HMAS Sydney which was lost in battle
|1950||Tarakan Disaster Memorial||Landing craft HMAS Tarakan petrol tanks exploded, claiming 8 lives|
|1905-1948||Detention Quarters||Navy gaol with 20 cells. Closed in 1943, demolished in 1948|
|1884-1888||Original End of lsland||Reclaimed from Hill spoil. Original end of lsland close to north end of Rigging
House. A rocky shoal extended south where Rigging House is now situated
|1902||Coffer Dam||Constructed to surround a basin to drain in order for the Dock to be constructed|
|1996||Church /Memorial Chapel||Balcony inside had 20 partitions for prisoners from gaol to occupy|
|1885 & 1895-6||Residences||Constructed for Supervisors on call, continued use till the 1990s|
|1880||1st Tennis Court||Built around 1880 just south of the residences|
|1884||2nd Tennis Court||Built around 1884 on the area south of the present fuel tank remained till c.1930|
|1788||Rock Carvings of Initials FM,WB & IR||3 men surveying Port Jackson landed and carved their initials|
|1902||1st Signal Station|
|1910||2nd Signal Station||A 72 metre mast was constructed in 1912. Shortened flag mast now located at National Maritime Museum
|1925||3rd Signal Station|
|1917||Oil Fuel Tank||5,000 Ton Oil Fuel Tank planned in 1913, excavations began in 1915, continuing till 1917 when tank was constructed for the new fuel oil burning ships|
- "About Garden Island".
- "Island's tourism birth a date with history". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Correspondence, Daniel Southwell, Midshipman HMS Sirius, 19 February 1789. Cited in Bladen (ed.) 1978, p.694
- "R.A.N. Heritage Centre". Royal Australian Navy. December 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- "Story of Garden Island". Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930)]] (Sydney, NSW: Hugh Donald McIntosh, The Sunday Times Newspaper Company). 2 April 1922. p. 13. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- Elbourne, Sean (Winter 2006). "Wonderful Kuttabul – a long history of service" (PDF). Sea Talk (Winter 2006) (Royal Australian Navy). pp. 11–19. Retrieved 7 September 2008.
- "Island's tourism birth a date with history". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Garden Island crane to be removed". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Potts Point Tunnels, Sydney, NSW during WW2".
- Bladen, F. M., ed. (1978). Historical records of New South Wales. Vol. 2. Grose and Paterson, 1793-1795. Lansdown Slattery & Co. ISBN 0868330035.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Garden Island, New South Wales.|
View from the public area of Garden Island with Fort Denison in the middle distance and North Sydney beyond.
Garden Island Naval Heritage Centre display
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