Fort Denison, which can be seen from Mrs Macquaries Seat, was used in the early days of settlement as a place of punishment and confinement for the convict population. During the mid 19th century a fort was built on the island to protect Sydney Harbour.
Fort Denison is now a tourist destination and is open seven days a week for lunch at the cafe or for picnics with a tour group. There are two tours daily to Fort Denison and tours can be booked by visiting the Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre, located in The Rocks or by ringing +61 2 9247 5033
Those that know me MUST understand that Australia's population is made up mostly of convict and jailer stock "Transported" out from England and there is even a rumour that we call them POMEs because of the uniforms that they provided my ancestors. Prisoner Of Mother England, but I won't swear to that, not that you would infer that this applies to me.
Well there were one or two baddies that found their way to Botany Bay and subsequently Sydney Cove. The really bad ones among them eventually found their way out onto today's Fort Dennison, which at the time was referred to as Pinch Gut, you figure out why, and a lot never made it back to the mainland.
What I find incongruous is that Terrorists, sorry that should read tourists (Same thing really) now go out to "Pinch Gut" for a bite to eat, and if they can afford that they are most likely more closely related to the initial inhabitants than they would have us all think.
There is however nothing we Aussie prefer than beating the old Enemy (The POMEs) at cricket.
The two vessels you see passing between Fort Denisson and the Garden Islan Naval Dockyards are both ferries headed for Manly (a beachside suburb on North Head) One a new jet ferry the other I think is the South Steyne which came out from England under its own steam well before I was born, if you come to Sydney and the day is a bit stormy take the old ferry (The modern ones won't run, but carry a barff bag) and enjoy what used to thrill us as children. For when the seas were rough, hundreds of us wagged school (Yes truancy) just to ride back and forth to Manly through the swells coming in the heads, Now THAT was LIVING.