RAAF AREA EXPLOSIVES RESERVE, KOWGURAN
NOW KNOWN AS POSSUM PARK

UNDERGROUND AMMUNITION BUNKERS
NEAR MILES, QLD,
MANNED BY 3 CENTRAL RESERVE RAAF

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visits since 15 August 2000

 

Approval was granted in September 1942 to construct an RAAF Area Explosives Reserve at Kowguran in south west Queensland near the town of Miles. The Queensland Main Roads Commission built the Explosives Storage complex. A re-inforced concrete bomb storage building was erected in the side of a hill. A 10 feet wide road was built up to the entrance of this "bunker".

A 16 foot wide road was constructed from the depot to the railway line. Fifty nine men were employed on this project which had an estimated value of 22,723.

The Area Explosives Reserve was manned by 3 Central Reserve (RAAF) which was formed at Kowguran on 18 August 1943. 

Now know as Possum Park, Kowguran Explosives Depot was a World War 2 ammunition dump located 20 kms north of Miles in Queensland on the Leichhardt Highway. Many thousand tonnes of bombs etc were stored at Possum Park in 20 underground concrete bunkers. The bunkers were dispersed around a heavily wooded hill and were linked by a ring road. The bunkers are 60 metres long and are covered by up to four metres of dirt and concrete.

 

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Soldiers storing explosives at Possum Park during WW2
Note the ventilation shafts

In 1985, David and Julie Hinds purchased the 135 hectare property that Possum Park is situated on. They turned the World War 2 site into a holiday destination, converting four of the bunkers into roomy self-contained underground motel units. Each underground unit has a fully equipped kitchen and a comfortable lounge and bedroom with en-suite, a private barbecue area and undercover parking. The very effective original ventilation and the insulating properties of "Mother Earth" ensure a comfortable even temperature all year round.

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The underground Dining Room at Possum Park near Miles

Above ground accommodation is also available inside "troop-train" railway carriages. Tent sites are also available.

Possum Park Underground Holiday Apartments
Leichhardt Hwy
Miles QLD 4415
Telephone: (07) 4627 1651

Tell them you found out about Possum Park via Peter Dunn's "Australia @ War" home pages.

The old RAAF parade ground on the top of the hill is now used as the camping area.  One of the features of Possum Park today, is the "Brisbane Line" room, which is decked out with weapons, uniforms and other memorabilia from the Second World War.

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Were you based at Kowguran during WW2?

 

BOOK REFERENCES

"The History of the Queensland Main Roads Commission during World War II, 1939 - 1945"

"Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History"
compiled by RAAF Historical Section

 

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Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2003

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This page first produced 15 August 2000

This page last updated 07 May 2003