Garden Island, New South Wales

Garden Island, New South Wales

Infobox Australian Place | type = locality
name = Garden Island
city = Sydney
state = nsw

caption =
lga =City of Sydney
postcode = 2000
near-nw =
near-n = "Sydney Harbour"
near-ne =
near-w = "Sydney CBD"
near-e = Darling Point
near-sw = Woolloomooloo
near-s = Potts Point
near-se = Elizabeth Bay
dist1 = 2
dir1 = north-east
location1= Sydney CBD

Garden Island is an inner-city locality of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located to the north-east of the Sydney central business district, north of the suburb of Potts Point.

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. [cite web|url=|title=About Garden Island ] Garden Island is the principal east coast naval base of the RAN, and home port to many of the RAN's major ships.

The northern part of the area is open to the public and is accessible via Sydney Ferries. [cite news |url=]


Garden Island is so-called because it was the colony's first food source when gardens were established on the island to feed the colony on January 27, 1788. Graffiti there by First Fleeters is believed to be the oldest colonial graffiti in Australia. One carved "FM 1788", another wrote" IR 1788", while the third scrawled "WB 1788". It is believed that "FM" was Frederick Meridith, who served as steward to Captain John Marshall of HMS "Sirius", and the other men from "Sirius", who tended the gardens. 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. [cite news |last=Elbourne |first=Sean |title=Wonderful Kuttabul - a long history of service |url= |format=PDF |work=Sea Talk (Winter 2006) |publisher=Royal Australian Navy |pages=11-19 |date=Winter 2006 |accessdate=2008-09-07] [cite news |url= |title=Island's tourism birth a date with history] [cite web |url= |title=Garden Island Information]

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. [cite web |url= | ]

Tunnel system

There is a tunnel system under the Garden Island that was once used by the Royal Australian Navy. [cite web |url= |title=Potts Point Tunnels, Sydney, NSW during WW2 ] 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.

Other fortifications and military installations in Australia

* Bankstown Bunker
* Bare Island Fort
* Fort Denison
* Middle Head Fortifications, Sydney Harbour
* Green St. Bunker, West End (Townsville)


External links

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