Friday Five: Cockatoo Island


It was one of those days…the ones that Sydney does particularly well. The ones when the sun was shining, the sky was blue, the harbour was glistening in a way that could have you thinking that someone up there had scattered a bag of tiny diamonds across the surface.

My friend said something about how fabulous Sydney is in February- and it is, fabulous, that is….on the harbour where you don’t get any of that disgusting humidity that we mop up during February in the suburbs. On the harbour, on the ferries, it is, as she said quite fabulous.

I’d suggested Cockatoo Island partly because I’ve written a short scene in Finding John Smith that’s set out here. Mostly though, I suggested it because it’s a great place to hang out drinking jugs of cocktails, eating great wood-fired pizza, and catching up on chat under a fabulously blue Sydney sky.

Here’s five reasons why you might want to go…

Hang out at Island Bar


But you’ll need to be quick- it’s closing for good at the end of February.

There are other places on the island to eat and drink, but they don’t involve deck-chairs.

We had a jug of hello Sailor


And a pizza. Mine was margarita- simple, with a perfectly thin crust. Even the seagull knows a good pizza when he sees it.


If you forget the sunscreen they have some near the bar.


Check out the buildings and the tunnels


The tunnels are beautifully cool on a hot Sydney day, but the ship-building buildings (don’t try saying that too many times after a jug of Hello Sailor) are fascinating and have an incredible light and space about them.


Yes, I’m aware how poncy that sounds.


Go for a walk along the cliff-top


Sure, there are stairs involved, but there are also views, and silos cut by convicts into the sandstone,


and signs warning you of aggressive seagulls, and seagulls who don’t seem at all aggressive.


The top of the island


Cockatoo Island was a convict prison for thirty years from 1839. The buildings from this time- a guardhouse, a mess hall- are on the upper part of the island.

Just how great does the sandstone look against this blue sky?


There’s also more ship-building buildings to be seen up here.


And more great views…


It involves a ferry


And on a hot February day in Sydney, there is no better place to be than on a ferry.

And ferries involve Circular Quay.

At the moment there are installations around town to celebrate Chinese New Year. There’s one for each of the signs. This one at the Opera House was for the monkey,


but this one out the front of Customs House was for the rabbit.


Want to know more about Cockatoo Island? Check out this website…or this post or even this one.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

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