To the Batcave!

Filed Under General 

The hour was late – but importantly the tide was low, so Sven and I headed up the Leopard St tunnel. The outflow of the huge rock blasted tunnel overlooks the Brisbane CDB and is only accessible at low tide.

Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 15 sec (15) Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 400
Focal Length: 10 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, tunnels, urban decay

We scaled the grimy and slippery concrete outflow section and took in the view. It was quite a low tide so there was minimal standing water but as ferries passed water rushed into the pipe. We even had a couple of spectators who were taking β€œregular” shots of the city. We offered to help them down into the barnacle and slime infested pipe to take a more interesting shot, but they declined – how odd? (yeah, we did not actually speak to them)

Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 5 sec (5) Aperture: f/5 ISO: 400
Focal Length: 16 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, tunnels, urban decay
Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 20 sec (20) Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 200
Focal Length: 10 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, tunnels, urban decay

Then began the rock blasted section which dates from 1890 and has the feel of a cave rather than a tunnel. And in reference to my title there are also a number of small bats – one flew right past my head while I was framing the top shot but in general I think they tried to avoid us. The walk was slow (and a little smelly in places) in this section with the floor being very uneven and slippery. We were on the clock a little not knowing how the tide would affect the outflow where we potentially had to exit – we had heard of a alternate entrance further up the pipe but could not confirm whether it would be usable.

As an indication of the little care taken with the shots there is a big shadow in the corner of this one which I guess is Sven.

Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 30 sec (30) Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 200
Focal Length: 10 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, tunnels, urban decay
Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 15 sec (15) Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 200
Focal Length: 10 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, tunnels, urban decay

So, still feeling a little jetlagged and not wanting to wade out through chest deep water we moved fast and only stopped briefly to take quick documentary shots. After around a kilometre the pipe turned to a rounded brick type which had a great bend in it which I think could be a better shot another time.

Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 15 sec (15) Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 400
Focal Length: 10 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, tunnels, urban decay

Then there was a brief modern concrete section, which was likely constructed with the South East freeway overhead, then the brick tunnel resumed getting progressively smaller. We were kept company by the thump, thump of cars going over manholes above in large (some 15 meters high) vertical shafts. Finally we came to a junction were it was believed the right hand pipe lead to the alternate exit. It was a low pipe some 300 metres long. Needless to say my back was hurting after lugging my backpack through it hunched over. The exit proved viable so we thankfully did not have to go back to the outflow. It was a small pit which at first looked like it would be a difficult climb out but then as I prepared to scale it we noticed a set of somewhat camouflaged step irons. We popped up on a suburban street and began the walk back to the car, which to our surprise was quite some distance away.

Trudging through the streets of South Brisbane in gum boots, both dying of thirst, this little water fountain provided a drink and a short photographic diversion. Then there was some random city shots as we skirted the river bank back to the car.

Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 1 sec (1) Aperture: f/1.4 ISO: 100
Focal Length: 50 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, tunnels, urban decay
Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 20 sec (20) Aperture: f/11 ISO: 200
Focal Length: 50 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, tunnels, urban decay
Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 13 sec (13) Aperture: f/11 ISO: 200
Focal Length: 50 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, tunnels, urban decay

Really an exploratory visit I think and now that an easy entrance is known I think a second trip with more careful planning of shots is a must. However, so as not to run the risk of becoming drain hobbits, I do feel the next trip we make should be on the surface.

Comments

13 Responses to “To the Batcave!”

  1. Sven on December 22nd, 2007 3:08 pm

    That first shot, with the torch at the roof, came out well. I’ll definitely try that under the old bridge, if we ever get around to taking another trip there.

    I really like the texture in those brick tunnels, but both of our shots suffer from overexposure from the flash-pops at the end. I think it needs a more subtle and considered lighting approach.

  2. Sven on December 22nd, 2007 3:09 pm

    Also, I’m not sure about the wide angle on the tunnel shots we both took – maybe a short tele would be worth a try?

  3. Sven on December 22nd, 2007 3:11 pm

    I like your framing of the outfall, showing just a little of the overhang.

  4. jon on December 22nd, 2007 6:53 pm

    I certainly think the curved brick tunnel can be taken much better with more thought.

    Possibly a 50mm in the long, straight sections would work. Also the thing with going back to the bridge is…..this one is comparatively so easy to access πŸ™‚

  5. kelli on December 26th, 2007 10:10 pm

    lovely to hear how you had “heard of an alternate exit” yet both crawled through this outflow tunnel without knowing if you could use it…..I think V and I will wake up one morning and see you both on the morning news. πŸ™ <– this is my angry face

  6. Sven on December 27th, 2007 7:39 pm

    Ah, but the unknown-ness of said alternative was the reason we were in such a hurry – if the alternative was unavailable, we needed to be able to return the way we came, preferably without getting water in our wellies πŸ˜€

  7. Sven on December 27th, 2007 7:41 pm

    That first shot is definitely the pick of the bunch – so good and cave-y.

  8. jon on January 1st, 2008 12:30 pm

    Not to mention your warrior-like pose with your weapon of choice – a tripod πŸ™‚

  9. Kay aka your Mother! on February 8th, 2008 8:26 pm

    Stay out of tunnels full stop, especially when there is rain around. Don’t you listen to the news!!

  10. Kat on August 12th, 2014 12:53 am

    Hey there,

    Im new here from WA and am seeking someone to come down these drains with me as i dont want to do it alone !

    Please contact me if your interested on k.lindemann@live.com.au

  11. Hey on January 23rd, 2015 3:59 pm

    Hey,

    You have some mint shots, I have been around the Burford bat cave its great fun but where is that fountain. Its so amazing.

    Thanks

  12. Lynda Thomas on October 27th, 2016 5:07 pm

    Hi where about is the cave actually located

  13. Jon on October 28th, 2016 8:51 am

    Hi. You can sort of see from the images that the entrance is in the Kangaroo Point area.

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