Cockatoo Island


I’m huddled in the shelter attached to the cafe. On a nice day, this place would be packed, tables spilling out onto the grass around, views across the water. Today, though, the tables and chairs are jammed in to fit under the roof, and the rain is sheeting down.

At the long table across from me a largish family group is about to get to the business end of their soggy celebrations. The wife announces that she’s arranged creme brûlées for the birthday boy (her husband), and pulls from the esky beside the double decker pram, packets of those turn upside down and creme brûlée comes out things that you find in supermarket fridges. As an ice, it’s genius. Everyone else seems to think so too.

It’s a rainy Saturday at the end of August- the last blast of a brief winter.

I woke feeling like the claustrophobia that’s been floating around my head for weeks, had trapped me in a vice. Hubby’s prescription was simple. Go stand on a ferry and get some air in your hair.

It’s a prescription that rarely fails to work with me. I used to do it when I was a student- catch the Manly ferry over and back. It’s why I love St Kilda Pier- it clears the fug from my brain.


So I did. In the rain. To Cockatoo Island.

Admittedly, it wasn’t raining when I set out. It started just as the ferry backed out of Circular Quay. Not heavy enough to drive me inside, but enough to have other passengers wonder about my sanity.


By the time I got to the island, the drizzle had turned to something a lot more serious.

I settled down with my journal, ordered a burger, and waited it out.

Once the rain stopped, the skies cleared enough for a little tunnel


and factory exploration.


This place is heaven for photographers- it’s something about the natural light, shadows, sheer scale


and industrial rawness of the workshops.

ci4Outside is the same…


Sadly, the rain started again before I could explore the top level of the island- although I have done this before…pics here…(Ive also got the technical details about getting here in that post).

Although wet and cold, the ferry had worked it’s usual magic on me.



Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

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