Fort Lytton is Queensland’s foremost military exhibit, with extensive buildings and fortifications, a large museum and regular military re-enactments.
Fort Lytton provided the principal defence of Brisbane from 1882 to the end of the Second World War. In the colonial era the perceived threat was from a naval attack on Brisbane or its port. Fort Lytton was designed to deny hostile vessels access to the Brisbane River. For the time, the fort was technologically very advanced, with its own electric power station, an electrically operated minefield in the Brisbane River, and legendary six-inch disappearing guns.
The historic fort occupies nearly a hectare of land surrounded by a water-filled moat. It contains numerous buildings, gun pits, tunnels and other structures embedded in its earth-mound walls. There are other historic buildings outside the fort. Except for a few modifications made in the Second World War, the fort and its surrounding buildings are much like they were in the early 1890s.
In 2015 Fort Lytton Historical Association won a National Trust of Australia (Queensland) Gold award for its restoration of the “Black Powder Rooms”. Fort Lytton was built at a time when functional military buildings including gun-pits and magazines were designed by architects and given subtle visually pleasing features. For example, the tunnels alongside gun-pits 1 and 2 have subtly sloping walls, while the Engine House (power station) is equipped with sash windows presenting an extremely attractive view (including reflections) when viewed from the other side of the moat.
The Black Powder Room (Artillery Magazine) was restored in 2015 resulting in Fort Lytton Historical Association being awarded a National Trust Gold Award for the quality of the restoration.
Except for a few minor differences, the open area inside the fort still looks very similar to its appearance in the mid-1890s.
Restoration ongoing at Fort Lytton. Come and see the recent the fort’s Main Gates and Engine Room doors that have been restored this year. During Brisbane Open House weekend, the following historic
buildings will be open for inspection:
- 1881 moated earth-mound fort
- 2x1880s casemate (accommodation and storage) buildings
- 1880s artillery magazine building
- 1800s submarine mine building and tunnel
- 1880s steam-powered generator building and tunnel
- 2x1800s gun-pits and tunnel
Rolling tours throughout the day
Fort buildings, visitor centre and museum
Wear enclosed shoes
Light refreshments available // Cannon firing at 11am, 1pm and 2pm - arrive early to get a good vantage point.