ANMM members at Garden Island

Last week on a perfect Sydney springtime day a group of museum members caught the ferry from Circular Quay to Garden Island for a fun and informative walk around the naval base with guides from the Naval Historical Society.

Although now connected to the mainland, Garden Island was originally in fact a small island that since 1788 has been used for naval purposes – from growing food to repairing naval and commerical ships. In 1946 the land between Potts Point and the island was reclaimed and the Captain Cook Graving Dock was constructed. This dock is where we take our own HMAS Vampire and HMAS Onslow for their major maintenance works.

If you haven’t been to Garden Island and soaked up some of our naval history then add it to your list of things to do. Only the northern part of the island is open to the public but it’s a nice way to spend several hours – wandering through the Naval Heritage Centre, inspecting the memorials, monuments, guns and missiles, and then climbing up the small hill and the top of the building there to get wonderful views of the cityscape and harbour.

Garden Island – Fleet Base East for the Royal Australian Navy. Photo by Lindsey Shaw

Sydney cityscape from Garden Island. Photo by Lindsey Shaw

And there are free barbeques provided so bring along a picnic. Or you can go to the Salthorse Cafe and relax by watching the harbour go by.

If you want to see more of the island than is open to the general public then keep an eye on our members’ page for our next outing to this Sydney Harbour gem.

ANMM members with one of the 105 mm guns from the WWI cruiser Emden which was defeated by HMAS Sydney in November 1914. Photographer Jeffrey Mellefont