Do NOT enter drains. Read this warning!
Anzac Rating: Updated 1st September 2000
This drain is one of the biggest, most spectacular tunnels in the city. It's probably the biggest RBA tunnel here. If it was not for the fact that it's mouth is right on the river you could drive two cars side by side down it with ease. I always felt it would make a great diversionary road provided it had ventilation fans and lights installed. The entrance is on the river's edge, by a bridge. A bicycle track runs right over it.
As a child I lived not far from this drain and often visited, but was too afraid to enter it. I later explored it many times to take photographs.
This tunnel is one of the easiest to explore up to the chamber, with plenty of room to stand up in and gently sloping floor. The only difficulty is that it's mouth area gets inundated with water at high tide but even then access is easily possible. This is an ideal beginner's tunnel. It has lots to see, but once again, please do not enter the drains, as doing so is illegal.
Emor at the impressive entrance to this drain
of the drains with points of interest marked
Note: The map is not accurate and is drawn from estimates of where features are in relation to above ground.
1. Entrance to Anzac. The portal has recently been repainted a light blue but further in there is a fair amount of interesting graffiti including the obligatory messages from other drain explorers. About 150 meters in on the left a huge message extending on into the tunnel. The tunnel extends ever onwards under the roads above, southwards. It has to be one of the biggest brick arch tunnels in the country.
2. Pillars. The tunnel changes shape as it passes under a road above. Long ago this was a bridge over the original open drain. It is now shored up with the addition of newer steel pillars. A few vents in the roof of the tunnel lead up to the street above. A section of the roof here is corrugated metal while dozens of Gatic type manhole covers forms another part of the roof.
3. The Chamber. This tunnel contains a rather largish Chamber under the a shopping center, with a sort of railway station platform either side of the main chamber. This section of the tunnel was only roofed over about ten years ago. This huge chamber is lit by light pouring in from a series of grilles under the stairs at the shopping center. This is an incredible sight. An extremely interesting place. This Chamber is one of the very largest in the city. The Chamber is often visited by drain explorers and by casual visitors. A number of large graffiti places are visible on the walls. This Chamber is occasionally used to hold parties in and at times chairs and other furniture are located in here.
The massive Chamber in the drain. It's about 100 meters long and about 12 meters wide.
4. Split. From the Chamber the tunnel splits into two low tunnels, the easier of which is the left one. It's time for a bit of ducking and weaving as you duck the overhead beams. Every time I have explored here, someone has without fail hit their head on the pipes or beams down there. The right hand tunnel soon rejoins the left one. Just beyond this a sort of low bit in the tunnel with a central concrete pillar which creates a sort of double barrel. I'm describing it badly, there is two deep pools of water here in the concrete floor of the tunnel known as the Anzac Spas.
5. Eastern tunnel. Another split is soon arrived at. The larger left hand tunnel eventually heads off east. This tunnel changes into a red brick double barrel tunnel, large enough to stand up in. This rapidly changes into a slightly higher single tunnel which leads to where a blockage over the tunnel marks where it turns into UA City River tunnel at point 6 on the map. There is a round grid type manhole here which exits into a fairly quiet laneway. It's fairly safe to exit at this point. A walk down the lane and turn left to the station or right to get back to the entrance of the drain.
The end of the tunnel is not far past this manhole. It consists of a bricked up wall, similar to the one in another drain. A small side drain continues on past the main tunnel. Don't know if it is worth exploring.
Just a short way along this tunnel, past the Anzac Spas there is a round hatch in the tunnel wall. This reveals another small brick tunnel with a considerable amount of dirt on it's floor. The air in here is foul so it's only worth a peek.
7. Right side tunnel. From the Spas a low rectangular concrete tunnel leads south for about 100 meters. The right hand tunnel it's self soon splits. It's right hand tunnel leads due south and soon turns into a RBT before coming across a short waterfall. The RBT above the waterfall is just about high enough to walk upright in. A short way along here a set of stairs raises the tunnel by about one and three quarter meters. Although the tunnel may smell a bit here there is often a strong smell of eucalyptus a bit further ahead.
The section or RBT above the stairs soon turns into an old bluestone drain capped with a flat concrete roof. This section of tunnel is fairly easy to walk upright in. Proceeding along the tunnel you will come to a pair of manholes, the first of three along here. The first is in the roof of the tunnel and is not an ideal exit as there are no step irons to it. The second is an unpoppable one right near the first one.
Further along a third manhole with step irons is located on the drain's left side. This manhole is poppable, and even fairly easy to lift. However it is located on the side of a street, in the parking strip. Popping this is fairly safe, as even if there is a car directly overhead it's tyres should not go over the manhole unless it's pulling into or out of the parking space. From here it's a short walk to the the local night clubs.
Past this manhole the tunnel reaches a curve where a side tunnel curves off to the right. The main tunnel soon gets low. This is as far as I have been down here.
UA City River .Rating:
This tunnel was created as a diversion for the original extension to Anzac tunnel. It consists of an initial RCP which changes into double loop tunnel. The tunnel includes a good 2 meter waterfall, (looks larger yes) and the eventual extension to Anzac.
The entrance to Drain 2 tunnel. It requires deft stepping to get in.
9. Drain 3 Rating:
This rather small RCP is located at the northern end of a park, close by the railway bridge. Not many people have explored it as it is tidal, subject to inundation and quite small. It is only a 1.6 meter RCP. Like so many other people I have not explored this tunnel.
Expo Report1. From 1996
Went around to Ed's place and convinced him that we should visit Anzac. So off we went, caught a train to South UA City River and walked down to the entrance. Both of us had been down this tunnel before but surprisingly, despite it's height had never been as far as the Chamber! Silly us!
Even more silly was the fact that it was high tide and there was about ankle deep water in the tunnel. We tried going in bare foot but almost slipped so we walked out and put on our shoes - no socks this time! and waded in. Eventually we reached dry ground and walked on, this was about 8pm and it was dark both inside and out. We eventually reached the start of the chamber and switched off our flashlights to peer up the drain holes. Heard a tram go overhead. It was almost pitch black down there.
We read the graffiti, and strode onwards to post a calling card in the Chamber it's self. We also left some of Ed's mother's snacks for anyone passing by. Ed hates them but does not have the heart to tell his mum!
We strode on towards the dim light in the distance and finally looked out of the grille which to our surprise was under some sort of stairway. We decided to retrace our steps, stopping near where we had posted Tunnel Rag to chomp through a bag of jubes, leaving a few behind because we ate too many of them. If Gunny had been with us he could have eaten the whole pack himself.
We finished up the night looking for the grille's location topsides. After wandering around we finally found it under the foot path in the Como center on River Street.
Expo Report 2. From 1997
I recently revisited this tunnel one night with Emor. We had done Maze earlier in the day, and some other drain before that. We must have done about fifteen drains over the few weeks before so I forget which one it was, probably Gets Bigger.
It was almost midnight by the time we wandered into the drain, despite this Prahran was still well alive, the shops down Toorak road still open and crowded with yuppies. The tide was down which was good as neither of us had checked the times it would be down. I stumbled into the drain and we walked up in the darkness. Coming to the Chamber Emor stopped and pointed to the ground. There on the bare concrete of the little ramp was a footprint.
'Some ones's been here.' He said. I had to agree with him, some one had been there recently. We wandered up into the Chamber and looked towards the grille. There, complete with sleeping bags and pillows were a trio of guys asleep up near the stairs. Our flashlights undoubtably woke them up and the poor somewhat groggy individuals weren't exactly coherent in speaking to us. I had to stop myself from laughing at some of the stuff they said. (I gotta write a fun page).
With the groggy individuals chatting away and not exactly making sense (do you do trips man?) we lit up some candles in the Chamber. Though they didn't throw out much light the candles lit up the Chamber beautifully. It was a stirring sight to see the huge Chamber lit up like a cathedral.
Draining is not recommended for the inexperienced. Exploration of drains can cause head wounds from low ceilings, broken bones through slipping over, embarrassment through obvious demonstrations of your total lack of common sense and other injuries. In addition, your friends will either think that you are totally weird, or in need of a life. We do not encourage you to explore drains. The purpose of this web site is to bring you pictures of whatís in drains so you donít have to risk your life yourself.
Do NOT enter drains. Read this warning!
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