A freelance writer and bargain hunter with wanderlust, recently moved to Perth from Brisbane.
Published October 22nd 2013
A Blast from our Military Past
I only just discovered Fort Lytton recently when a friend suggested that we paid a visit. Its historical past and interesting military artifacts have the makings of a tourist attraction. However, its location 13km northeast of Brisbane CBD near the mouth of the Brisbane River has meant that this place has escaped the awareness of the tourist hordes which is a shame really, as Fort Lytton has so much to offer in terms of historical significance.
Once you enter, you are greeted by cannons and an interesting museum with military paraphernalia and stories of what happened during World War I and World War II. Interesting items include military buttons, newspaper articles from the war era, uniforms and other items used during the war.
At first I thought the museum was the main attraction, but you will need to walk a little bit to get to the main fortification walls. Before getting there, we passed huge military equipment as well as another two museum buildings. Both museums explained life during the war and how Brisbane was part of it in further detail.
Built in 1880-1881, Fort Lytton was built to protect Brisbane from enemy attack and it was the focus of Queensland's defence activity for 40 years. This coastal fortification can still be viewed by the public with original walls and huge machinery once used to defend Brisbane.
Initially, the Fort had four heavy gun positions but it soon expanded to six gun pits and two machine gun posts. To get to the fortifications, you will need to cross a bridge as the fortress was filled by a water-filled moat.
Fort Lytton is open every Sunday from 10am to 4pm and most public holidays. Self-guided tours are free. If you would like to attend a guided tour run by volunteers who will bring history to life, they last for 90 minutes with the first tour starting at 10.30am and the last tour at 2pm.
Group tours can be arranged on weekdays. Tours are run on Sundays as well (gold coin donation) and entry fees for adults on weekdays are $5.70. Fort Lytton is part of the go back in time program with a strong educational focus.
Note: Due to renovations, the park is closed from 21 October to 22 November 2013.
To get here from central Brisbane: travel east along Lytton Road. Drive through the Hemmant Industrial area, then swing left to South Street and through the gate to Fort Lytton.
To get here from Wynnum: drive west to the end of Tingal Road, left into Pritchard Street towards Brisbane and right into South Street to the park entrance.