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Lifestyle : Sydney International Boat Show 2012
1HERSA1 0010 boat maintenance and refit facility sydneycitymarine.com.au James Craig Road, Rozelle * email@example.com * 02 8572 7800 antifoul * shipwrights * painting * electrical & electronics * rigging call us for a quote! 10 July 28-29, 2012 smh.com.au ISLAND HOPPING ON THE HARBOUR Leave the landlubbers behind as you embark on an aquatic tour brimming with history, writes Marie Sansom. Adventurous . . . visitors can paddle ashore at Shark Island. W ith sea spray in your hair and one hand on the wheel, you can explore Sydney Harbour's flawless beaches, colourful fish market and historic islands at a relaxed pace while avoiding the traffic jams landlubbing Sydneysiders hate. Best of all, when they've all gone home, treat yourself to a sundowner and an onboard barbecue and have the beach to yourself, apart from the seabirds. You might also catch the annual winter whale migration. The harbour is blessed with eight islands, each with its fascinating history and topography. Cockatoo is the only one you can moor at, and you'll need to be an adventurous skipper to anchor near Shark island or Rodd island. The other islands are best viewed from the water or by ferry, water taxi or on an organised tour. Because most of the islands have a limited capacity, you'll need to call the National Parks and Wildlife Services Cadman's Cottage on 9247 5033 before visiting. Private boats pay $7 to land. (Snapper Island is privately owned and Spectacle Island is used by the navy. Neither is open to the public.) Cockatoo Island: One of the largest and most interesting harbour islands, Cockatoo Island has a chequered past as an Aboriginal fishing spot, convict barracks, reformatory school and shipyard. It's a major Sydney Biennale venue until September 16 and you can walk among artworks and relax in cafes, bars and restaurants. If you don't feel like going home, bed down in a heritage cottage or go camping. You can bring your own gear or choose the Cockatoo ''glamping'' experience, in which your tent and bed are set up for you. Getting there: Private boats (maximum seven metres long) can moor at Camber Wharf Marina for up to 24 hours, but you can't sleep on your boat overnight. Pay at the accommodation office near the ferry terminal on arrival. Sydney Ferries runs daily services from Circular Quay. For more information, phone 8898 9774. Fort Denison: When the First Fleet arrived in 1788, Fort Denison was a steep, rocky island and a popular Aboriginal fishing place. Convicts later imprisoned there named it Pinchgut after their meagre rations. It has been used as a military installation to defend the harbour and you can take a guided tour of the Martello tower and cannons and visit the museum and restaurant. Getting there: Matilda and Captain Cook cruises both visit. National Parks runs guided tours (contact Cadman's Cottage). Clark Island: Off Darling Point, Clark Island was previously a vegetable garden for the First Fleet. Now, it's a popular picnic site, with knockout views of the Sydney Opera House. There are tables, toilets and drinking water. Open daily, 9am to 5pm. Getting there: By tour boat, water taxi or charter vessel. Private boats can drop passengers but not moor. Shark Island: One kilometre off Rose Bay, Shark Island was previously an animal quarantine station, reserve and naval depot. With its harbour views, grassy areas, shelters, a gazebo, toilets and drinking water, it's ideal for a picnic. Open daily, 9am to 5pm. Getting there: Captain Cook and Matilda cruises operate regular ferries. Visitors can also arrive by water taxi, private boat or kayak, but you can't moor. Intrepid skippers SNAG A COOL SPOT AND LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL IT'S A boatie's idea of heaven: relaxing in the sun with a beer in one hand, flipping burgers with the other. Why disembark when you can cook on board? Andrew McGowan of Marine Barbecues will be at this year's boat show with his marine-grade stainless steel barbecues that keep going even in 30-knot winds. ''People find cooking in the cabin not only gets hot but smells,'' he says. ''It's all part of the lifestyle of having a boat. You're sitting on the back and you can have your barbecue and glass of wine. ''That's what boat people do. You want to be outside, not cooped up." His barbecues also function as a stove and oven so you can bake bread or cakes, but for McGowan, simplicity rules. ''I often just sit there and have a few sausages while I'm still fishing. It doesn't get much better than that.'' Finding an idyllic place to anchor on the harbour is easy. Edward Penn, from Sydney by Sail, says there are plenty of great spots, provided you don't interfere with shipping or navigational channels. He recommends Quarantine Beach, Manly, with its fascinating history and sheltered outlook. ''It has that whole world-away- from-town feel, yet it's within view of the magnificent city skyline,'' Penn says. You can row ashore to the upmarket Boilerhouse restaurant or cook on board. Clifton Gardens (Chowder Bay) is another favourite, with its sandy beach, clear waters and nearby Ripples restaurant. There is a netted swimming area, toilets and playground. Camp Cove is another excellent lunch spot, with a great swimming beach and city views. ''There's good access to Watsons Bay for fish and chips, then you can motor back and be king of the harbour,'' Penn says. To avoid crowds, aim for Nielsen Park, Vaucluse, with a beach cafe and kiosk. More places to anchor: Sydneybysail.com.au.
Travel Vietnam 2012