So, Cockatoo Island.
I’ve been before, I’ve wandered around the old buildings and looked at some of the old videos about the shipyards and the history surrounding the docks etc. I’ve been to a skating competition there and hung out drinking beers…I thought I’d done Cockatoo Island. I was wrong.
I’m not a huge ‘history buff.’ When I go to museums, I like to wander through, gazing around – but you wont catch me reading every single plaque… its just not me. So when we decided to try an overnight experience at Cockatoo Island, I was excited – but also hesitant – would I be bored? What do you even do there?
Well… before I get started I have to say – if you’re in Sydney and you’re reading this – and you don’t have long before you leave – BOOK NOW. Before I explain why – staying at Cockatoo Island is right up there with visiting Bondi Beach and walking over the Harbour Bridge… it’s breathtaking, iconic and HAS to be done.
First of all, you arrive by ferry which is pretty cool. We boarded at Barangaroo, but you can easily get there from Circular Quay too. Once you arrive you simply check in at the office (like any normal hotel) and they’ll show you to your room. We stayed in a small 1 bedroom harbour view apartment.
We brought some snacks with us – a bottle of French rosé, some amazing cheeses, dates, a baguette and a few other nibbles. The lovely people at Cockatoo Island also left us a ‘vegetarian breakfast pack’ in the fridge for the next day, but I will get to that soon.
After checking in you’re told about the things that evening. If you’re a social person (I’m not), there’s a camp fire lit where you can go and mingle with the other Cockatoo Island ‘overnighters’. There’s movies! A kids movie on first, and then an adults movie (Ours was clash of the Titans). There’s also 2 headsets and audio tour kits in the room if you want to explore and learn more.
As I’d been before – and as I'm not a very “sociable" person – Moreton and I decided to get to the apartment and prepare ourselves a night of cheese and wine. Well, let me say – WHAT A VIEW!
You’re looking at Chatswood, all round the harbour to the City and beyond. Whilst you’re eating your d’affinois, the sun is setting behind you, making the city glow a gorgeous orange. The only sound you hear is the odd boat ticking past or the squeak as the ferry pulls up alongside the dock.
The peace is insane. You’re looking at an incredibly busy city – the whole thing – yet its just you and the seagulls and your wine. It’s hard to put a picture into a word, but it’s perfect.
The rooms are divine. You’ve got a full little kitchen that’s got everything you’d need, a minibar (in case you forgot anything) a gorgeous sofa with a TV, heaters, a BBQ, full outdoor deck, huge comfy bed, wardrobe, bathroom with the most AMAZING bath you’ve ever seen and everything you need to CHILL. THE. HELL. OUT.
By 8pm the city is lit up and the sparkling lights dance on the water. It was pretty windy so we sat inside but the huge glass windows allowed us uninterrupted view of the gorgeous harbour and the towering city above.
I love an early night and slept like a baby – up in time to watch the sunrise – DIRECTLY over the bridge. It’s perfectly aligned to rise up over the bridge and backlit the ‘coathanger’ perfectly. The seagulls and I shared a coffee in (almost) silence before I decided to whip up our “Breakfast Burritos.” Fresh eggs, mushrooms, tapenade, rocket, wraps and haloumi – yummmmmm! We ate breakfast as the sun rose and all the boats scampered about the harbour. It’s a busy harbour – I had never really realised that – but the serenity was amazing.
Both Moreton and I are now determined to somehow live on Cockatoo Island one day – I now just have to find a qazillion dollars to buy it.If, like me – that’s a while off – seriously – go.
I don’t recommend stuff I don’t like and I can genuinely say you wont regret it. Get yourself a little apartment and watch the City… it’s a feeling I cant describe but a memory I will always have.
10/10 – MUST DO!
Make your bookings here and keep up to date with what's happening on Cockatoo Island via their socials;