I'm a freelance writer living and studying in Sydney
Published January 31st 2014
Cocktail mean Cockatoo Island
Sydney-siders are never without a city attraction to entertain themselves on a free weekend - there is always somewhere new to visit. Usually this involves a market, restaurant, performance or even just a lazy day at the beach. But Cockatoo Island is not your usual weekend getaway.
Abandoned and off-limits for more than a hundred years, Cockatoo Island is now an amalgamation of history, Harbour-side cocktails and convict-style accommodation. This island made the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010 for it's historical convict sites, representing European colonial expansion as well as shipbuilding throughout the 1800s.
You can choose to stay in various accommodations, from waterside tents to Heritage homes to Harbour view apartments: there is a little something for everyone. And while the Island still gives the impression of abandonment, there are plenty of places for food and drink.
You can choose the traditional DIY BBQ or perhaps the more fancy alternative of "The Island Bar". What could be better than sipping cocktails in beach chairs looking out across the Harbour at the Bridge and Centrepoint Tower? Island Bar has one of the best views in the Harbour and on a Friday night there were empty chairs and tables! This has to be one of Sydney's best kept secrets. You have your choice of a wide selection of wood-fired pizzas to go with your cocktail jugs. Sit back, relax and soak up that historical convict atmosphere.
And for those film and TV buffs, Cockatoo Island isn't all sleeping and eating. Part of the Wolverine movie was actually filmed on the Island as well as multiple reality TV shows, including Australia's Next Top Model and Biggest Loser. You can check all of these sites out on a self-guided audio tour (enquire at the Visitor Centre).
For all you could ever wish to know about this mysterious Island, click here.