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Exploring underground bunkers near Canberra

By PBO - 2 September 2008 47

In the past, RA has had a fair bit on Urbexing. (Going down tunnels and exploring not so normal areas for fun.) 

I myself love doing this and there is always the chance that you will find something that has been lost, hidden away or forgotten.  I have heard stories for years about people finding old bunkers that are chocas with old gear and i have wondered what happened afterwards.

We have just found an old bunker and for obvious reasons i am not telling where it is (private property), we almost have it open.  My question is:

What are the legalities involved in this?

What’s Your opinion?

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47 Responses to
Exploring underground bunkers near Canberra
tylersmayhem 2:45 pm 02 Sep 08

Does anyone honestly think this is going to stop PBO and his pals “Urbexing” this “bunker”. Watching too much LOST me thinks?!

Gungahlin Al 2:44 pm 02 Sep 08

Oh – we’re back on the Deaking phone exchange…

BTW, there are a few bunkers clearly visible from the road to Goulburn near the railway line. Also clearly open…

amarooresident 2:40 pm 02 Sep 08

The old bunkers “chocas with old gear” thing is, as far as I know an urban myth. Happy to be proved wrong.

From memory there was a link on this very site to a website that listed such things

PBO 2:38 pm 02 Sep 08

Just so everyone knows, it is private property and we have complete permission to be there.
The structure is about 5 ft thick reinforced concrete and it is 4 ft underground. The entrance has been backfilled and we seriously doubt that it has Ordnance in it as it is well ventilated (two small chimmneys) and the Canberra region was mainly a transport facility in WW2 (Thats why there were 40 Dakota transport planes based at Fairbairn until well after the war). The double doorway that we are in the process of opening is about 10ft high and 8ft across. The whole deal screams old comms centre.

Clown Killer 2:36 pm 02 Sep 08

PBO property law aside, if the place is old you’d also be in breach of heritage legislation (either here in the ACT or NSW depending on where it is). Generally all old stuff that isn’t widely known about is given blanket protection under the relevant ACT and NSW legislation. Also, just because it appears to be abandonned, lost or forgotten, dosn’t mean that no one else knows about its existence. my advice – do some further research and proceed with caution.

Wino 2:35 pm 02 Sep 08

get hold of some gas test equipment, co2, hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg gas).. don’t assume you’ll be able to smell/tell what is/isn’t in there before it’s too late.

Zapruda 2:30 pm 02 Sep 08

Peterh, where do you cave?

I only manage to get out to Bungongia and Wee J every now and then (quite some time ago now I think of it)

I guess what im asking is if there are any caves in or around canberra that are worth a look at for an intermediate caver with the right gear?

Skidbladnir 2:28 pm 02 Sep 08

I have done my fair share of exploring too, but never pried a lock off when there were far more intersting places around if you knew where to look (or non-destructive ways of getting in). 😛

p1 2:25 pm 02 Sep 08

I think people have covered the legalities, ie it all depends who owns the land and if you have their permission (discounting the possibility that it is heritage or otherwise a listed structure, but if it was you could look it up. All the bunkers I have found ’round Canberra have been totally open to just walk in (trespass, not B&E), so I am *very* interested in what you have found.

peterh 2:19 pm 02 Sep 08

skid, as I have mentioned earlier in this post, the bunker may be closed because it is full of a chemical or ordnance. bunkers are designed to be containers for all sorts of really nasty things.

at no time in my life, have i cracked into any illegal sites (apart from the cotter caves and spelunking is different to urbexing)

stormwater drains were what i used to explore when i was a kid, now i go caving.

Skidbladnir 2:04 pm 02 Sep 08

Previously when people have gone into private property after getting advice or hints from RiotACT, they follow a certain structure:
there’s a few “Oh, I went out there as a kid” replies.
then a few “now its mostly just used by stoners\junkies” posts,
then a followup “I went out there and discovered there was a shiny new gate” post, or an “I went out there and the owner found me and now I’m up on charges of trespass and twenty years of community vandalism has been blamed on me”…

But lets be explicit here, when you say “We have just found an old bunker… i am not telling where it is (private property), we almost have it open.” you mean your’e almost up to the breaking part of breaking and entering, and want to know about the legalities involved in entering without consent?

By the way, breaking and entering is a crime of illegally entering a residence or other enclosed property using any amount of force. (taking to a cheap lock with freon, pushing on an ajar door, etc)

Entry without force is just trespass, but good luck to your defence team.

Zapruda 1:57 pm 02 Sep 08

PBO, I want in 🙂

If any one has any idea where other tunnels, old bunkers or anything of that nature are in Canberra please let us all know (know ones private property of course)

After the previous RA thread about this kind of thing in Canberra I have been hooked


peterh 1:54 pm 02 Sep 08

can i just say that if this is a Bunker Bunker, you might like to get the authorities involved in some way, many of the old bunkers around Canberra were used as ordnance stores.

disturbing very old ordnance has a major effect – first, not the least is the creation of a very large crater, which may or may not represent your final moments on this earth. It may also have other nasty components in it, whilst not being able to blow you up, may make you very sick.

additionally, it may not be a bunker at all, but the easiest way to know is if you can provide more info on the door mechanism / structure etc. I don’t want to know where it is, but if you can give me a bit more in the way of what it looks like and the construction, I can find out what it actually is.

Ozhair 1:47 pm 02 Sep 08

If it’s on private property where you don’t have permission to be, just being there is trespassing. If you then open the bunker and remove anything you find there, it’s theft, no matter whether the current owner of the property put it in the bunker or not.

It’s pretty straightforward, I would have thought.

If you do have permission to be on the property, anything you find still belongs to the the person that owns the property, unless you’ve worked out a prior arrangement with the owner.

Thems the legalities as I see it (but admittedly I’m not a lawyer)

niftydog 1:39 pm 02 Sep 08

Can I play too? Somebody invite me Urbexing!

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