Home' Afloat : AFLOAT August 2015 Contents 62 AFLOAT.com.au August 2015
Sydney Harbour is sparkling like
crushed diamonds in the winter
sun, a light breeze is coming in from
the west. It’s a great day to get out on the
boat. Like most of us I usually head to
the same places – upper Middle Harbour,
Spring Cove, maybe Castle Rock Beach.
But not today. This time we are heading
west of the Harbour Bridge. Destination
There are a lot of lucky folks who
already have their boat in these peaceful
backwaters of Sydney. Cruising along the
shoreline of the Parramatta River is a joy.
So much to look at, so much history, so
The jewel in the river is Cockatoo
Island. This World Heritage listed island
is right in our backyard. The long history
of Cockatoo is well documented but its
future was not always certain. After it was
closed down in 1992 there was a real danger
that it would be sold off for apartments
or hotels or perhaps an ‘unsolicited
development proposal’ would have seen
a casino sprout up.
Luckily the island was saved thanks
to a lot of good people, including Afloat’s
Jack and Mary Clark and the Friends of
Cockatoo Island, and placed under the
control of the Sydney Harbour Federation
Trust. After extensive remediation works,
Cockatoo Island was opened to the public
Today Cockatoo Island is one of the
most interesting boating destinations
around Sydney. The industrial relics have
been preserved and it’s fascinating to
wander the island and look closely at
our recent industrial past and our well
preserved convict heritage.
GET AFLOAT ON YOUR BOAT
engine flush. Stay for a meal or sundowner
drink at the café or at the Island Bar and
when you are ready to leave they return
you to your car. It’s boating made easy.”
While you are in the vicinity it’s
only a short hop across the river (past
mysterious Schnapper Island) to the
recently refurbished and extended
Birkenhead Point Marina.
In one stop you can set yourself up for
the rest of the day or the weekend. The
new easy-access fuel dock takes anything
from a super yacht to a runabout. Offering
petrol and diesel (including high flow 300l/
minute for commercial vessels), you can
top up your tanks and top up your caffeine
levels at the same time.
The Birkenhead Marina crew are fully
qualified to look after all of your vessels
needs ... and they are trained baristas.
The shop on the dock sells snacks, pies,
ice creams and lollies. Call ahead and you
can tie up your boat in a shopping berth
and duck up to the supermarket to load
up with more snags and beer for the BBQ
back on Cockatoo Island.
Next time you head out on your boat
look over your shoulder, you just might find
something fascinating up the River. h
Contact Cockatoo Marine Centre online or by
phone when you want to use your boat (they
have an app for iphone and android);
Cockatoo Island Marine Centre:
t: (02) 9940 0172 m: 0488 88 2462
Birkenhead Point Marina:
t: (02) 9819 6949
A trip to the island on your own vessel
is easy. The Cockatoo Island Marine
Centre has visitor berthing for vessels
up to 30ft (for a few hours or overnight)
available at the Camber Wharf Marina on
the west side of the island. If you decide
to spend the night as we did, the berths
are well sheltered and quiet and the price
is reasonable. Standard Rates for a vessel
up to 29ft (9m) are $15 for four hours and
$65 for 24 hrs.
The Marina Café adjacent to the berths
offers good food and excellent coffee in
a shaded, family-friendly outdoor setting.
The café is licenced so you can enjoy a
glass of wine or a beer with your meal.
It’s a short walk through the fascinating
island tunnels to the hot showers and
covered BBQ and kitchen area. The whole
place is kid friendly, they can ride scooters
and explore on their own.
Cockatoo Island Marine Centre
is working with the Sydney Harbour
Federation Trust to rejuvenate the Docks
Precinct on Cockatoo Island and return
it to a centre of maritime activity once
more. Dry boat storage is now available
for boats up to 33ft and in-water marina
berthing will follow shortly.
Manager Phil McGrath’s expertise in
logistics management comes to the fore
in the way the Dry Boat Storage works.
“ You can park at one of nine transfer
locations dotted around the harbour
foreshore,” Phil McGrath said. “ We’ll collect
you for the two minute transfer to the Island
and your boat is in the water waiting for
you when you arrive.
“On your return, tie your boat up at the
waiting pontoon and we take care of the
rest including a freshwater washdown and
Get Afloat On Your Boat – Do you have a favourite boating destination?
Readers are invited to submit 800 words plus photos about their adventures.
Rosie rests calmly docked at Camber Wharf.
Inset: Camber Wharf and the cafe next to the
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