1801 Tin City
Tin City is a unique collection of 11 self-built shacks, nestled between the dunes and the shoreline of Stockton Beach, New South Wales, a significant site of indigenous history and its traditional custodians, the Worimi People, after whom the Woromi National Park was named.
Originally, Tin City was a camp made up of a community of homeless men in the late 1920’s during the depression era. At the time, it was known as ‘Coral Trees’, named after the shoreline vegetation endemic to the area. By 1936, thirty-three families were living there.
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The shacks are governed by a 100-year lease signed in 1920 under longstanding squatters settlement, and the shacks are not owned in a traditional sense, but they are privately occupied and passed down to family and friends. Under this agreement, the shacks cannot be sold or rebuilt, but they can be maintained.
The constantly shifting sands, ocean winds, and sea spray require the residents to maintain the ever-evolving structures through repairs, reinforcement, patch ups and digging out the half-buried shacks to weather another year (or day if the wind is strong enough) in the harsh coastal conditions.
Perhaps the fact that the shacks cannot be rebuilt is what gives them such a unique character. In any other scenario, it would make more sense to rebuild the structure with better, more modern weather resistance. But by having to rely on never-ending stopgaps to keep the shacks standing, the result is the wonderful appearance you see today.
The shacks themselves are made of a patchwork of corrugated iron, timber, scrap metal and conveyor belt rubber, with no connection to public utilities such as water, power or sewerage.
Instead, the shacks rely on, solar panels, wind and diesel generators for electricity. A bore into the aquifer beneath the site for water, and… Well, you know, buckets for poo.
There is no road access to the site. The only way to reach the site is by 4WD along the shoreline of Stockton beach or by foot from Bobs Farm over the dunes.
All attempts have been made to tell this story as accurately as possible, but now and then, the published information used for research can contain errors. Whether deliberate or otherwise. There are plenty of rumours and historical points of contention doing the rounds. So If you think I have missed something, made an error, or indeed, if you are a resident and would like to add to this gallery, please get in touch.
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