Shark Island National Park

Sydney, New South Wales 2000

Sydney Harbour is one of the city’s most prominent hotspots, and plays host to a number of iconic landmarks, like the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Shark Island, NSW

Visitors often choose to venture out into the harbour to explore the city’s silhouette from a different perspective, but there are plenty of other things to do besides taking a cruise on the calm waters.

In fact, in the heart of the harbour there is a picturesque island. Shark Island National Park, as it is known, can be found around 1 kilometre from the mouth of Rose Bay in the harbour, and provides visitors with a unique picnic spot with incredible views.

The History of Shark Island

Shark Island

Shark Island’s past is full of stories and tales. In 1879, most of the island was used as a recreation reserve, but part of it remained an animal quarantine station and naval depot right up until 1975. After that point, it was solely used as a recreational area and it quickly became part of the Sydney Harbour National Park, with scheduled ferries taking visitors to and from the island on a daily basis. But it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. The island has been the site of drownings, shipwrecks, and even a shark attack or two – the most prominent of which took place in 1877, when cricketer George Coulthard was pulled out of his boat by a large shark.

There are plenty of things to do on the pretty shores of Shark Island

  • Explore the Foreshore

    The island’s foreshore is one of the most charming spots on the island. Here, you can discover magical grottos that date back to the early 1900s and see a range of tide pool creatures that call the area home.

  • Go for a Swim

    The calm waters that surround Shark Island make it the perfect place for a leisurely, refreshing swim. You can splash about in the shallows and soak up the mesmerising views of Sydney Harbour all around you.

  • Have a Picnic

    Shark Island is renowned as a popular picnic spot, drawing in thousands of visitors each year who lay down a rug and tuck into delicious food amongst the beautiful surroundings. There are plenty of lush grassy areas, picnic shelters, and even a gazebo that offer views of the harbour and beyond. A lot of locals and tourists head to the island to watch the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, as it provides the perfect vantage point.

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