Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Wondabyne Quarry

Wondabyne Quarry should be a familiar sight to anyone who regularly travels by rail between Sydney and the Central Coast. The quarry apparently opened in 1922, and provided the sandstone for many of the buildings in Sydney. In recent decades it is only intermittently in operation.

I've visited the quarry multiple times over the years. The photographs below were taken in January 2012, July 2016, and November 2017. I respected the no trespassing signs and never attempted to enter the site, but I got some decent photographs from the surrounding cliff tops.

An ancient, extremely rusty crane overlooks the northeastern side of the quarry. Another crane, apparently long disused, sits rusting forlornly on the ground in the middle of the quarry. Until 2017, two more cranes, in much better condition, were perched atop the cliffs on the southwestern side.

Wondabyne Quarry was unusually active in 2017, and it was expanded for the first time in many years. Soil and vegetation were stripped from the hillside on the southwestern side to uncover new stone for cutting. The cranes that once stood there were removed, and I saw the twisted wreckage of one of them lying on the quarry floor.

The quarry now manages without a single working crane, apparently using heavy machinery to carry the stone around. I've never actually seen stone cutting in progress, but I did see a vehicle parked with a block of stone resting on its front forks.

I trudged through the bush above the quarry to get a close look at the oldest crane. It was well worth the effort, because it turned out to be an old steam crane. Even better, behind the crane was the fire tube boiler that once supplied it with steam.

A small dam above the rear of the quarry apparently provided water to the boiler. By 2017 it had almost completely filled up with silt and vegetation.