Known as Me-mel by the local Cadigal people, Goat Island was once inhabited by Bennelong and Barangaroo. Guided tours are available to explore the rich history of Goat Island. Take a fascinating tour of Goat Island, an iconic Sydney landmark in Sydney Harbour National Park. Known as Me-mel by the local Cadigal people, Goat Island was once inhabited by Bennelong and Barangaroo. Guided tours are available to explore the rich. Goat Island in Sydney Harbour played a fascinating role in the development of Sydney, being a home for convicts in the s, and a gunpowder storage depot.
Island National Park Goat
This left the Ordnance with a large amount of deteriorating gunpowder which in the Colonial Architect was requested to remove. The Colonial Secretary instead requested that the Ordnance permit the construction of a Colonial magazine on Goat Island which was refused.
An acrimonious correspondence ensued. Blacket's design abandoned the conventional fireproof barrel vault with its massive walls in favour of a thin-skinned structure with a light roof substantially supported by, and tied to, the interior racking system with conventional windows and shutters at the gable ends. The design was criticised but the administration overruled the objections on the grounds that the design was economic and the construction period would be shorter than using a conventional design.
In a new Colonial Magazine was constructed to the north of the existing magazine, which became known as the Queen's Magazine. This was a building of much lighter construction, and was intended for the storage of civilian explosives belonging to the colonial government and local merchants.
In the police station was converted into a laboratory for the preparation of cartridges, requiring the building of a bridge over the cut. The water police were moved to Kirribilli. In the s magazines were built on the east side of the island to house the new explosive dynamite.
By this time most of the storage of propellant powders and cartridge manufacturing had moved to nearby Spectacle Island. The increase in mining and public works in the second half of the s resulted in an increased demand for gunpowder, which again resulted in the inability of the magazines to cope with storage requirements.
This necessitated in the hire of the brig Lady Mary as a temporary floating gunpowder magazine in The design was similar to the Colonial magazine, but introduced an iron roof which again raised concern amongst military men. The magazine was completed in December In the Colonial Secretary raised concerns that the quantity of gunpowder stored on Goat Island was sufficient to "send half of Sydney to the other world.
The Water Police were removed from Goat Island in and the laboratory for cartridge preparation relocated to the Water Police area in The use of new blasting preparations such as gun-cotton, nitro-glycerine and lithofracteur at this time further exacerbated these concerns as gun-cotton and nitro-glycerine were more susceptible to accidental explosion.
New storage facilities were required as far away from the gunpowder as possible. By a magazine was erected south-west of the cut, with another to follow by The laboratory again had to be relocated. In the Storage of Gunpowder Board raised concerns with the somewhat casual attitude of safety and security on Goat Island and recommended that the merchants gunpowder be removed.
From the s - s considerable alterations and additions were made to structures on Goat Island. Little physical evidence of this work survives. In all explosives were removed from Goat Island. The island is believed to have been used for a period in that year as a bacteriology station, for the investigation of the major outbreak of bubonic plague in the nearby Rocks district, but firm evidence for this usage is lacking.
What is certain is that by the island had become the depot for the Sydney Harbour Trust , responsible for the maintenance of that body's significant fleet of tugs , dredgers and other floating plant. Over the following years until the mids, the island saw the construction of a harbour master's house on the highest point of the island, together with four cottages for married members of the fireboat crew stationed on the island, and a barracks for the unmarried members of the same crew.
In the island was vested in the newly formed Sydney Harbour Trust who had acquired responsibility for Sydney Harbour. The Trust used Goat Island as a depot constructing wharves, berthing facilities, coal-store, 4 cottages, Harbour Masters Residence and workshop as well as making major alterations and additions to the former barrack and cook house.
Between and the Trust developed a shipyard which consisted of spillways, installation of cranes, rail system and conversion of the Expense Magazine and Colonial Magazine.
Between and the magazine area to the south-west of the island was converted into a shipyard for the repair of the trusts vessels and floating plant. The Colonial Magazine was recycled as a shipwright 's workshop, whilst the Queens Magazine became a general store.
The Trust was replaced in by the creation of the Maritime Services Board which had expanded responsibilities encompassing the entire state. Plans for a community hall were drawn in and shark-proof swimming baths was erected.
Tennis courts had been erected earlier - possibility in During the s and s construction of wharf, storage and shipyard facilities were carried out. The island was also a popular centre of social activities such as tennis and dances during this time. In October the state government announced its intention to return the island to Aboriginal hands.
Premier Mike Baird said "Goat Island has enormous cultural heritage significance for Aboriginal people. We are committed to ensuring Aboriginal leadership in management and decision-making for the sustainable use of Goat Island.
The Premier will establish a working group to investigate means of transferring management while continuing existing operations on the island, protecting its heritage and maintaining public access.
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has long campaigned for the island's return. Former state MP Linda Burney 's last question to Parliament before she left for federal politics was about returning ownership of the island. Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams said "future opportunities included increasing public access and sharing cultural experiences".
Goat Island is a prominent island in Sydney Harbour. There is little vegetation on the island. As at 14 December , the condition of fabric varies from good to poor.
Some of the metal in roofs and cranes such as the hammerhead crane is rusting. White ants have attacked some of the timber structures. Archaeological inv  The integrity and intactness is high. The structures retain enough of their original fabric to enable their form, function and interrelationships to be easily read and understood.
Considerable modifications have been made to many of the structures. During the mids to the early s, the island was used as a film-set for the Australian television series Water Rats. The island has also played host to rock concerts from Midnight Oil in and Green Day in Both were presented by radio station Triple J.
Goat Island recently reopened to the public, with tours available on weekdays. Panic at Rock Island , an Australian telemovie, was filmed on the island in On 24 March , Foo Fighters performed a secret show on the island to people.
As at 24 March , the Colonial Magazine is historically significant as probably the oldest surviving magazine built to store merchant's powder in Australia, evidence of the growing need for storage of privately owned gunpowder in the expanding colony of New South Wales. It has historical associations with its designers, Colonial Architects Edmund Blacket and Alexander Dawson, and despite the loss of original structural arrangement retains some ability to demonstrate its former use as a magazine facility for the storage of gunpowder.
The building also has some historical significance as part of the shipbuilding establishment on Goat Island since The building is aesthetically significant mainly for the technical innovation of its design which departed from the military standard typified by the adjacent Queen's Magazine.
The Colonial Magazine is also technically significant for the surviving evidence of its construction and use, and for the archaeological evidence likely to be present beneath and around the building.
The place is important in demonstrating the course, or pattern, of cultural or natural history in New South Wales. Goat Island is a harbour island which demonstrates all the phases of use and development from Precontact Aboriginal occupation to the present day. Its almost continuous use since the s for a variety of activities related to the operational management of Sydney Harbour by various government agencies is significant as is its value as part of the historic landscape which now forms Sydney Harbour National Park.
It is the site after of the first major facility for the storage of ordnance and explosives in both government and private hands. It is also the site of the first permanent establishment of the Water Police in Sydney Harbour. Goat Island was also the emergency centre for bacteriological research during the outbreak of bubonic plague. After it was the shipyard and base for port management operations by the Sydney Harbour Trust and its successor the Maritime Services Board.
Goat Island is of considerable aesthetic significance. It is one of several prominent Sydney Harbour islands that contribute to the overall beauty and pattern of the harbour.
The Queen's magazine's powerful architectural qualities are complemented by the unusual design of the contemporary stone cooperage, barrack buildings and perimeter walling. The use of sandstone and slate enhances the overall aesthetic qualities.
The magazine's aesthetic qualities are further enhanced by the topographical setting on the south western edge of the island and by the curved alignment of the stone security wall. The variety, extent and pattern of wharves, is unusual in such a concentration and provides a rich visual interplay between the rhythm of the piles and the rocky foreshore.
The place has strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group in New South Wales for social, cultural or spiritual reasons. Goat Island is of State, regional and local significance. The island, known as Me-mel by the local Cadigal people, was once inhabited by Bennelong and Barangaroo. In the s, the island was used as a home for convict work gangs and as a gunpowder storage depot. The Queen's Magazine, which stands on Goat Island, was built in the s by convicts using sandstone quarried from the eastern side of the island.
It was used to store explosives, and beside it there's a barracks, cooperage and kitchen. Following this, the island served as a shipyard, and in more recent years it has been a location for filming and concerts, including the television series Water Rats.
The best way to explore the rich history of Goat Island is on a guided tour with us or with one of our partners. For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info. Do you love stories about long ago? If you do, this WilderQuest holiday adventure's for you. We'll take a trip to Goat Island and into Sydney's past.
Get a bird's eye view of these incredible landscapes before setting off on your own adventure. Fort Denison is home to a wealth of historic heritage.
The Fort Denison heritage collection project invited volunteers to locate, identify, document, conserve, interpret and make accessible the heritage collections in Sydney Harbour National Park. This allowed NPWS to engage with the community and ensure our collections are protected. Sydney Harbour National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
There are pay and display machines that accept cards and coins - no change given.
Goat Island is an heritage-listed island located in Port Jackson, in Sydney, New South Wales, Today the island forms part of the Sydney Harbour National Park. The built facilities on the island were designed by Edmund Blacket and. Nature & Parks, Islands. Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Save. Share. Book In Advance. Sydney Harbour Cruise and Goat Island Walking Tour. While the management authority transfer process may take up to two years, the Goat Island Management Plan is on track to be complete by.