Fear of Russian invasion through Botany Bay led to the
decision to build a fort on Bare Island in 1877.
Architectural plans were drawn up in 1880 and construction
of the fort was finished in 1885.
In 1889, workers started
doing construction inside the fort.
year later it was found out that the fort was built on
inferior materials and the building had started to show
signs of crumbling.
Reconstruction of the fort was never
done due to bureaucracy. In 1902, Bare Island nearly
ceased to be a military fort and was manned
by only a
handful of men. After 10 years it functioned as a retirement
home for the Crimea, Sudan, and China war veterans.
went on until 1963 when it was taken over by Randwick
District Historical Society. Four years later, it was
declared a historical site and was then converted into a
museum and tourist attraction by the New South Wales Parks
and Wildlife Service.
Bare Island carries the
distinction of being the most sought after deep sea diving
site in New South Wales. Many veteran as well as neophyte
divers come to practice here and there can be as many as 200
divers and snorkellers during weekends.
The rich diversity of marine
life of the island serves as another good reason to come
here. A variety of shark species such as seals, grey nurse
Winter Port Jackson have been seen around. Likewise sea
dragons, sea horses, red Indianfish are only some of the
exotic animals to be seen on the island’s reef.