Old prison building

Old prison building

One weekend back in December we took a trip to Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour. It’s a train ride to the city and then about a 25 minute ferry ride. As it was a Sunday Matts whole trip was capped at $2.50 and mine was free as I’d already made 8 trips that week on my Opel card (like Oyster).

Entry to the island is free too. It’s about 500m by 360m so not very big. For a gold coin donation you get a guide book and can go on a self guided tour. As we arrived about midday and were in no rush we did the full Island tour of 2.5 hours.

Originally the island was a prison for the worst of the worst convicts who were sent away from nearby Goat Island or we’re repetitive offenders. The conditions were pretty terrible. During WW1 the island changed its use and be me a big base for boat building to support the war effort. There are lots of old naval buildings there now which are cool to wander about. A lot of them are sided as film sets as they’re basically big abandoned warehouses.

View from Cockatoo Island

View from Cockatoo Island

There are two long tunnels on the island, one called dog leg tunnel (it has a bend it in), which was built as an air raid shelter when the island became an obvious target during the war. We walked through the tunnel and found a geocache there along with another one somewhere else on the island.

We had some disappointment at the half way point of the walk when the cafe had sold out of ice creams! Luckily we found another cafe further on which wasn’t on the Mao which did have some for us (along with a German sausage van which my brother will appreciate).

Incidentally, there aren’t any cockatoos on the island any more, just a lot of very noisy seagulls.

You can camp on the island in tents they have put up there all year or hire out some of the historic cottages. It would be quite cool although there’s not a right lot to keep you entertained much more than a day!

Cockatoo Island Camping

Cockatoo Island Camping

Overall it was a good day out and worth the trip. I always like going on the ferry and the fact it was super cheap was great too.

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