Mount Surprise – Radar Hill

Recently on a Friday afternoon at Mount Surprise we were having the usual rest after cleaning the railmotors when a car pulled up at the station. Out hopped Doug, the owner of a nearby station. He was there to take us for a drive (and walk) to Radar Hill. Shown on maps as Lookout Hill this volcanic outcrop was used as the site of a radar station during the Second World War.

There’s a few relics at the site and seeing the masses of concrete and steel at the top of the hill after walking up the steep sides makes you wonder how it all got there.

Doug leads us to the top

Doug leads us to the top

A machine gun pit

A machine gun pit

Initials in the concrete of one of the machine gun pits.

Initials in the concrete of one of the machine gun pits.

Number 1 radar tower. The antenna has been rmoved but the mechaics for rotating it are in place.

Number 1 radar tower. The antenna has been removed but the mechanics for rotating it are in place.

Doug pointing out something

Doug pointing out something

It was an interesting afternoon and many thanks to Doug for taking us out. We’re looking forward to our next Friday afternoon outing.

Update:

(by Mike) Very many thanks to contributor ‘BelowRadar’ for providing an excellently detailed answer to a question I raised in the comments. Please check out comment No. 2 for an extremely concise history of the site.