Buckland Hill WW2 Tunnels
Updated: Feb 18, 2020
I have driven past this so many times without ever realising it was here. It is a bit of a tricky turn off from Stirling Highway at Boundary Road but recently signs have been erected to advertise the Buckland Hill WW2 tunnels which form an important part of Perth and WA's history.
Although the Leighton Battery site is always accessible the museum and tunnels are open from 10 until 3 every Sunday with tours departing every 30 minutes. Entry to the tunnels is $8 per adult and $2 for kids. A limited range of cold drinks are for sale and there is a toilet. Even without doing the tunnel tour the historical information and displays in the old Command Post Museum are interesting.
We arrived at 9 parking in the car park on Boundary Road immediately as you come off Stirling Highway. We walked about 400m along the footpath up the hill towards the Leighton Battery Heritage Site. We explored the two large guns immediately outside the old Command Post before climbing up the viewing platform for stunning 360 degree views up the coast, across to the hills and south to Fremantle Harbour and beyond.
We then wandered back along the path looking for nearby Monument Hill which we could see from the lookout. Unfortunately we took a wrong turn but as intrepid explorers we followed the path towards the river and discovered Mt Lyell park off McCabe Street. This park has a walkway or steps climbing up to the gazebo at the top which again offers stunning views up the river towards Point Walter with the city beyond and down the river to Fremantle.
We had to resort to Google maps to find our way to Monument Hill, retracing our steps and discovering where we had made the wrong turn. Monument Hill is at the end of Boundary Road. We climbed up and explored the reservoir and the obelisk whilst enjoying the views. Mt Lyell was definitely the more spectacular of the two hills.
Back we tracked to the Leighton Battery Command Post to start out tour of the tunnels. We had a good look around all the informative displays before heading off with our guide to re-explore the guns. He was able to give us lots of information about the guns range, ammunition etc....all a little over my head but the boys were interested. From here we entered the underground tunnels next to the large gun emplacement.
Our tour of the tunnel took about 90 minutes but generally they last about an hour. We explored the First Aid Room, the Stand Easy Rooms, Artillery Stores and the Observation Post, There were mannequins and other items to bring the tunnels to life. We were glad of our guide as we wound backwards and forwards through the tunnel system.
Afterwards we headed to Cafe Isthmus around the corner on McCabe Street for a coffee and a bite to eat. The cafe is also within walking distance of the tunnels.
Since doing this walk I have realised that Buckland Hill/Leighton Battery is just around the corner (15 minute walk along the river) from the Russell Brown Adventure Playground so this provides a great combination of activities for a Sunday.