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Shark Island

Last Updated: February 27, 2024 Sydney
Tripadvisor Rating 4/5
5 46
Google Rating 4.2/5
46
avatar By Sam Baldwin
Escape the hustle and bustle of Sydney and embark on a tranquil island getaway at Shark Island. Take a ferry to this secluded paradise and enjoy a picnic while surrounded by the beauty of Sydney Harbour. Don’t miss the chance to experience this unique attraction in the heart of the city.

Point Piper NSW 2027, Australia

What?

Located in the heart of Sydney Harbour, it is a picturesque island that promises the perfect island getaway. Nestled within the Sydney Harbour National Park, it offers panoramic views of Sydney, including iconic sights like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Measuring about 250 metres by 100 metres, the island boasts lush grassy areas, perfect as a picnic spot, and a scenic foreshore adorned with grottos. For those looking to soak in the best of Sydney from an exclusive vantage point, Shark Island is the ideal destination.

The Story

For centuries, it was known as ‘Boowambillee’ by the Aboriginal people. Its history is rich and varied, with its use ranging from an animal quarantine station and naval depot in the early 1900s to a recreation reserve by 1975. The island’s foreshore has a rich range of tide pool creatures, making it a favourite spot for nature enthusiasts.

The Island became part of the SHNP in the 1970s, overseen by Australia’s National Parks and Wildlife Service. Its storied past also includes the somber tales of shipwrecks, being a site of drownings, and even a notable shark attack involving cricketer George Coulthard in 1877.

small lighthouse near Shark Island with city skyline in the background Source: https://openverse.org/image/f57692e5-70d5-418a-85e1-fa41e632ca8f

What Is The Place Famous For?

It stands as an iconic attraction in Sydney Harbour, especially during events like the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It offers one of the best vantage points to watch the start of this renowned race. The island is also known for its rich Aboriginal heritage and its previous uses as an animal quarantine station and naval depot.

Today, it is frequented by both locals and tourists who feels it’s time to jump on a ferry from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour to visit Shark Island. The mesmerizing views of Sydney Harbour, complemented by the sound of an island getaway, make it a sought-after destination. Not just for picnics, the island also houses shelters and gazebos, ensuring visitors have the best recreational experience amidst Australia’s natural beauty.

Did You Know?

How To Get There?

You can use the following public transport to go to Shark Island in the Sydney suburbs of Point Piper, Rose Bay and Vaucluse,

Bus: 324, 325

Train: SCO, T4

view of Shark Island from nearby water Source: https://openverse.org/image/3a310ff3-b354-490b-9104-54a51bbf3a7c

Nearest Parking and Cost

Here are the park entry fees:

Bradleys Head: $8 per vehicle per day.

North Head: $5 per vehicle per day.

Chowder Bay: Monday-Friday: $3 per hour, to a maximum of $16 per day. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: $4 per hour, to a maximum of $20 per day.

Nearby Attractions – Make A Day Of It!

If you’re heading to Shark Island in Sydney Harbour National Park, make sure to check out these attractions:

view of Sydney Harbour from Duff Reserve Source: https://openverse.org/image/d95e05b1-a489-49b7-8376-326eff774d6c

Duff Reserve

Duff Reserve is a picturesque park offering stunning views of the Sydney Harbour, located near Shark Island, perfect for picnics, leisurely walks, and wildlife spotting.

Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is a historic sandstone bench carved out of a rock ledge in SHNP, offering panoramic views of the harbour and a popular spot for tourists.

Top 5 Closest Hidden Gems – Recommended By Adventure Clues

Swing At Dudley Page Reserve 4.2 km
Milk Beach, Sydney 4.6 km
Elizabeth Bay House 5.2 km
MacCallum Pool 13.3 km
Collins Flat Beach 22.5 km

Your Hidden Gems Itinerary

  1. Start your day at Shark Island.
  2. Visit Swing At Dudley Page Reserve: Begin with the iconic swing and stunning views of the Sydney skyline and harbor.
  3. Then head to Milk Beach, Sydney: Relax on this secluded beach, well-known for its calm waters and scenic backdrop.
  4. Explore Elizabeth Bay House: Enjoy exploring this historic 1830s house, reflecting Sydney’s colonial past.
  5. Dive in to MacCallum Pool: Take a refreshing dip in this harborside tidal pool with spectacular views.
  6. Relax at Collins Flat Beach: Conclude your day with a visit to this serene beach, offering a quiet escape and beautiful scenery.

Visiting these locations near Shark Island provides a blend of natural beauty, historical exploration, and tranquil beachside relaxation, showcasing Sydney’s diverse and serene attractions.

Best Eateries Around

Here are some recommended restaurants near Shark Island:

photo of The Boathouse in Rose Bay Source: https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5fd6ae8967ebfc29b095839a/1675642657322-Z98I97M892YLRWOD4KZF/BHG+-+RB+Int+%2B+Ext-+4.jpg?format=2500w

The Boathouse

The Boathouse is a picturesque waterfront dining venue offering fresh, modern Australian cuisine with stunning views of the Sydney Harbour, located at the mouth of Rose Bay.

Catalina

Catalina is a renowned waterfront restaurant offering exquisite Australian cuisine and panoramic views of the Harbour, located near Shark Island in SHNP.

Entry / Tour Price

To get to Shark Island, all visitors need to pay a $7 per person landing fee. Children 0 to 4 years old are free.

Final Thoughts

Shark Island, with its rich tapestry of Aboriginal heritage, maritime history, and unparalleled views of Sydney Harbour, stands as a testament to Australia’s commitment to preserving both its natural beauty and historical significance.

Discover Sydney like never before. Engage in Sydney Scavenger Hunts by Adventure Clues and reveal the city’s concealed gems.

Shark Island Getaway (Sydney) FAQs

Find answers about Shark Island or Boowambillee, a Sydney tourist spot.

1. What is “Shark Island,” and where is it located?

Shark Island is an island located in the Sydney Harbour in Sydney, New South Wales(NSW). Officially recognized as a part of the SHNP, it offers unparalleled views of Sydney and the iconic Harbour Bridge. It’s an oasis of lush, green landscapes right in the middle of the bustling city, a perfect outdoor recreation spot.

2. How can one reach Shark Island?

To be able to tour Shark Island, you can take a ferry from Rose Bay. As it’s located in the middle of Sydney Harbour, the ferry ride offers amazing views and a unique approach to the island.

3. What can one do on Shark Island?

There are many facilities available, like picnic shelters and public amenities for visitors. The island boasts lush grassy areas, perfect for a picnic. You can also explore the island’s foreshore and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

4. Why is it called Shark Island?

The island is named ‘Shark Island’ due to its shape: like a large shark, which resembles a shark. Known to the local indigenous people as Boowambillee, the island has a rich indigenous history that adds to its charm.

5. Is it safe to swim around Shark Island?

While the island has no traditional sandy beach to step into the water, there is a range of tide pool creatures along the island’s foreshore. However, swimming in the harbour is at each individual’s risk and discretion.

6. What is the history of Shark Island?

Shark Island became part of the Sydney landscape in the early 1900s. It officially became part of the SHNP in 1975 under the management of the NPWS.

7. Are there any restrictions to visiting Shark Island?

Entry to the island requires purchasing a park entry ticket. All activities must adhere to the guidelines issued by the NPWS.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_Island_(Port_Jackson)

https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/shark-island-boowambillee/learn-more

https://moovitapp.com/index/en-gb/public_transportation-Shark_Island-Sydney-site_7178850-442

https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/shark-island-boowambillee/visitor-info

https://www.woollahra.nsw.gov.au/recreation/parks,_reserves_and_playgrounds/list_of_parks_and_playgrounds/parks_and_playgrounds/duff_reserve

https://www.theboathouserosebay.com.au/rose-bay-restaurant

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