Friday, 5 December 2014

Clifton Gardens - The Defence Forces muscle in!

This is the OTHER end of the Clifton Gardens area. The suburb, tumbles down the western ridge, the reserve occupies the middle ground, and the Chowder Bay military complex sits like Jacky on Georges Head. The final image is the eastern ridge from the pier.
In the 1890s, this complex of buildings and structures was purpose-built for the Submarine Miners' Corps, the unit responsible for laying and maintaining mines on underwater cables that spanned the harbour. The mines were to be detonated if an enemy ship entered the harbour. When the corps dissolved in 1922, this comples was used by the Royal Australian Engineers until 1939 when it became the School of Military Engineering and later the Army Maritime School.

In 2000 the military passed this land back to the people, in the form of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. Since then, a wide range of community and commercial groups has moved in. Part of the site is occupied by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, established by four of Sydney's universities in 2005, and which is open to the public on Fridays. The original 1892 Boat Shed is occupied by Sydney Harbour Wooden Boats, which continues the long tradition of boat building in and around the harbour. There is a viewing platform open to the public daily. There is also a fine dining restaurant, Ripples - Chowder Bay, which as well as good food, affords scenery par excellence from its balcony looking back over Chowder Bay and Clifton Gardens.


William Kendall said...

Incredibly beautiful!

Joan Elizabeth said...

I had no idea there was so much going on down there.