Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cockatoo Island

For our excursioner family Sunday trip last week, the Backscheiders headed over to Cockatoo island. The round trip from Mosman involved 4 ferry rides of half an hour each for the grand total of $7.50. CI is a historic landmark in Sydney, one of 10 sites renown for its convict history. There will be a film festival here in October, and you can understand why. Walking through the creeky abandoned buildings and old machine shops is extremely haunting. If I were to ever write an apocalypse style video game, this is where I would go to capture renderings. There were several historical trails to chose from, including the Maritime, Convict, and Highlights trail. Audio guides are $5, but we opted to use our loose change on hot salty fish and chips instead. You can pay to camp here overnight, tent provided (below right).

Ana loved walking through the air-raid bunkers (above left), while I enjoyed the Industrial Precinct. Its not the first hike I've done through an abandoned style town, but definitely the creepiest. The overcast weather kept crowds away, making the abandoned experience more authentic. Few convicts escaped the island, but you can read the amazing story of one Fredrick Ward who did. In 1869 the prison was closed and for a while turned into a Girls School. Can you imagine trying to receive an education in such a place? crazy. For nearly 100 years the island was off limits, so I'm happy to be part of a period in history that allowed for a first-hand experience.

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