Saturday, 9 April 2016

#59 - Cockatoo Island

Given the name, you might expect Cockatoo Island to be overrun with cockatoos.  In actual fact, we went quite a few times, and never saw a single cockatoo.  In contrast, you see them all the time around Sydney in general.  It's not unusual to see flocks of them around the Harbour Bridge.  I've no idea why the island is named Cockatoo Island, but maybe some helpful reader can shed some light on it.

I thought there would be more cockatoos
In any case, Cockatoo Island is one of the many islands in Sydney Harbour.  It's one of the biggest, if not the biggest one, and I believe it is also the only one that ordinary ferries stop at.  It's a bit strange really, with lots of big industrial looking buildings and machinery, as well as a kind of military style campsite.  You can stay overnight on the campsite, but we never tried this, so can't really comment.

Those guys really don't want anyone coming near their tents
I believe there is other 'stuff' to see on the island, but being who we are, we just really went to go for a drink.  There are two places to have a drink on the island.  One is just as you get off the ferry, and is a nice little cafe with plenty of seating and picture postcard views towards the harbour bridge.

The other is located at the opposite side of the island.  You have to walk through a big, dark tunnel to get there.  I am sure there is an interesting story behind it, but unless that story was written on the side of a beer can, then we were unlikely to read it.  Once you get to the other cafe, it is another small, nice cafe, with a reasonable selection of snacks and drinks.  It has a very small marina, with docking for a handful of boats.

The obligatory Harbour Bridge view
You can also hire boats from the island, which we did on one occasion.  They are small but sufficient boats, and cruising around Sydney Harbour is fantastic fun.  The boat hire place was along to the right of the second cafe.  It looks like it is all closed off, but there was a little portacabin where we had to go to complete the paperwork and get the keys to the boat.

I'm sure we are disgracefully underselling Cockatoo Island here, but it is a great place to go and have a nice stroll and a couple of drinks with some excellent views.

Do you know about the history of Cockatoo Island?  Have we entirely missed the point by using it as a glorified beer garden?  Shed some light via the comments below

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