The Bunker Museum at Mallacoota
The Museum is a joint initiative of the local branch of the R&SL and the district''s historical society. It is aimed at preserving and displaying Mallacoota''s unique WWII history in the context of the wider sweep of the local history of the district. It is located in a large concrete bunker which is heritage listed because of its role in WWII.
During that conflict, the Bunker was an important part of a chain of defence installations located along the southern and eastern coastline. It was the headquarters of RAAF coastal intelligence activity in the region, and provided the command post co-ordinating defence of shipping passing the south-east corner of the continent. Aerial surveillance was provided by Avro Ansons and by Beaufort aircraft from the adjacent airfield, while Sea Gull flying boats operated from Mallacoota Lake.
A radar installation and signal station on nearby Gabo Island provided surface surveillance and communications. This system provided defence against German surface raiders in early years of WWII and subsequently against attacks from Japanese submarines.
These installations were operated on a joint service basis with the RAAF''s 1 Operational Base Unit operating the Bunker and the Gabo radar site, the Army providing local security from 38 Battalion and the RAN operating the signal station on Gabo Island.
The arduous restoration of the 60 year old facility was undertaken by the R&SL with assistance from community and service volunteers. It was opened by the then Governor of Victoria, John Landy in May 2002.Exhibits include displays and artefacts from the WWII period and relics and records of Mallacoota''s early pioneers, industries (wattle bark gathering, grazing, fishing) and shipwrecks.
Mallacoota was also home to E.J. Brady''s writers'' camp where some of the noted poets of the time stayed and worked.Visit Website