The Garden Island Tunnel Complex is unique. This complex of tunnels and chambers provides evidence of the desperate days of World War II.
Just four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941, tunneling commenced to provide Air Raid Protection for the skilled workers on the Garden Island Naval Base. Designed initially to protect 1,400 men standing up, it was expanded to accommodate 2,500 men.
The subsequent surrender of Singapore, bombing of Darwin, attack on Sydney by Japanese midget submarines and ultimately the shelling of Sydney on 8th June 1942 created imperatives that drove the excavation of the five interconnected tunnels and multiple chambers.
Colin Randall is a semi-retired mining engineer with 50 years of experience in underground and open cut mining.
Since October 2018, as a volunteer researcher and archivist in The Naval Historical Society of Australia, he has researched the Garden Island tunnel complex. As a teenager he lived on Garden island and was well acquainted with the tunnels.