Have you ever travelled down Queen Street in Altona and wondered what is behind that long corrugated iron fence? Well, now is your chance to find out by taking a guided tour, and learning all about the history of the reserve and the plants and animals that reside there.
Altona’s Truganina Explosives Reserve is situated at 276 Queen Street Altona at western end of Doug Grant Reserve. The Explosives Reserve was established by the State Government in 1901 for the storage and handling of commercial explosives.
The manufacture of explosives, mainly gelignite and dynamite had operated in Deer Park since 1873 and was predominately used in the quarrying and mining industries. These explosives were originally stored in specially designed buildings (magazines) along the Maribyrnong River, upstream from Footscray. With the growth and development of Footscray it was felt that the storage and handling of explosive material should be moved to a more isolated location. In 1900 a site was selected in Altona which had both a water frontage and it remoteness from populated area. At this time the population in Altona was approximately 50 residents and a total of 15 occupied dwellings. The Truganina Explosives Reserve operated until May 11, 1962 when it was closed and all remaining explosive materials were transferred to Point Wilson.
Truganina Explosive Reserve is open for you to visit and learn more of the history of Altona on the first Sunday of each month from 1 pm until 4 pm, so after enjoying Devonshire Tea at the Altona Homestead why not take the short drive further along Queen Street and explore another aspect of the history of Altona.