I think I have another must do for any tourist to Sydney. The Island Bar can be found on Cockatoo Island, which is west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge between Birchgrove and Woolwich. Not only is the bar in a terrific location – the only way there is by boat. The most affordable way to get to Cockatoo Island is by Sydney Ferry (12 minutes from Circular Quay). We caught the Sirius, which is a member of the First Fleet fleet (all the ferries are named after ships that were in the First Fleet that arrived in Sydney in 1788). There’s always the old water taxi and for the well heeled, private boats can pull in as well.
The bar is self-described as a “European Beach Resort Style Bar”. Hmmm. I reckon it’s just so unique. The actual bar resides in some old shipping containers and there are a variety of chairs and stools to sit on. The best option is to grab one of the many picnic rugs and just lie in the sun. The views look east from Cockatoo Island and on a day like we experienced, there are few better places to be on Sydney Harbour or indeed in Sydney. The drinks menu concentrates on cocktails. The beer menu is very skinny offering only Peroni or Fat Yak (which made one of my companions – Illiards) very happy. Magners has stitched it up nicely and have their Original and Pear ciders as the exclusive ciders. These were flying from the bar, and I helped in that cause. One of my @Untappd followers was critical of me drinking cider made from concentrate – but really there was no choice. The Pear was as plain as, and the Original was functional for a warm day.
I hadn’t been to Cockatoo Island before. We were camping for the night with 3 other families, including fellow correspondent illiards’ brood. What a find! The camping was extremely easy. You simply turn up with all your food and sleeping bags, unzip the entrance of the already erected tent and remove the two camp chairs and you are done. illiards opted for the Glamping option where two raised beds are provided – but really if you nail the candlelit drinking properly, aided by some sherbets at the Island Bar in the afternoon, then sleeping is a doddle. Cockatoo Island is an 18 hectare large island that has been variously a penal settlement and a shipyard. There’s plenty of evidence of the latter activity left, and it’s possible to circumnavigate the island. When you sit on the island, you just realise how much maritime traffic Sydney has. I’ll definitely be back to Cockatoo Island, but I might see if I can get the house on the hill next to the Tennis Court.