Cottesloe Bush Reserve
Located mostly on the north and eastern sides of the McCall Centre on Curtin Avenue, the small bush reserve is certainly a lot more interesting, than what one would have imagined.
Aside from the usual wide range of flora and twisted trees, forming both obstacles and tunnels, surviving limestone-ridges makes it a fun place to explore.
Despite no evidence to date of hearsay war tunnels connecting the Leighton Battery tunnels to the beach, the suspect ridges can only heighten your suspicions.
The train line at the rear, laid more than 100 years ago, appears to be located where limestone was cut and quarried. The fascinating semi-high rough sandstone walls, now overgrown with bushes and wild grasses, is home to a variety of spiders and creepy crawlys. Particularly at this time of the year with the onset of summer and winter finally frogging off, snakes are unfortunately coming out in numbers to sunbathe.
Thankfully, I’m yet to encounter these little buggers but that’s hardly surprising when I’ve only been to this part of the area twice.
The rear railway side of the neighbouring Beehive Montessori School was once home to a big limestone ridge. If there’s any truth to the continuation of the Leighton Battery tunnels, no doubt it would’ve been located here. With that said, new recruits assigned to Leighton Battery during World War 2 would have to walk from the battery to the beach, where the two Coastal Artillery Search Lights were located. Had there been a tunnel network this way, they would’ve surely utilised it, in lieu of a risk falling into uncovered sewer pits filled by the nightshift dunnyman, who emptied the backyard toilets via the laneways.
Back to the north side of the McCall Centre and perhaps to a lesser degree behind it, a number of squatter camps have called this area home over the years. Tents can clearly be seen in satellite imagery taken by NearMaps and Google. A reference to the rear mostly relates to the one tent containing possessions and dirty cookware, which hasn’t changed in the past two or so years. Only in the summer is the tent area a hive of activity with so many flies!
Perhaps squatters have come and gone as a result of Ranger raids, or perhaps a change of situation (hopefully for the best!) but one thing certainly hasn’t changed. It’s the lack of respect for the area and the environment, as filthy animals continually leave behind piles of discarded trash and unwanted possessions all through the bush.
Aside from that, this small but very interesting reserve, can actually take more than an hour to explore. Without a doubt, this bush area is certainly not a place most people would even think about walking through, let alone to appreciate.
01 - August 2022
02 - November 2022