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There are two eating options on Garden Island.

The first is to bring your own food/picnic. This is an entirely feasible option given the lovely lawn areas on which you can sit and eat right on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour. Should you prefer it, there are a number of tables and seats which you can use. Although I didn’t notice them, there are free bbq facilities if you want to go the whole hog and cook.

Alternatively, you might do as I did and eat at the Salthorse Café, within the RAN Heritage Centre. The café offers a range of light meal options including sandwiches, rolls, quiches, salads and the like in addition to a couple of lunch specials. Hot and cold drinks are also available.

I had a salami roll (there were other things in it too – I just can’t recall what now!) and a coke, both of which I enjoyed. Lunch specials, which I only noticed as I was eating my roll, on the day I visited were a beef and mushie casserole with mash (A$9.50) and an Frittata Lorraine with salad for (A$7.50). I assume mushies are peas. As my roll cost around A$8.50 the specials (assuming they were edible) represented good value for money.

The café has indoor seating adjacent to some of the museums larger exhibits, including the conning tower of a Japanese midget submarine which entered Sydney Harbour on the night of 31 May 1942 with less than honourable intent. You can read a more serious account of that event in my M22 and the Japanese Attack on Sydney Harbour review. The café also has sheltered outdoor seating overlooking the harbour.

All in all recommended for a light lunch or a snack/drink on your visit to Garden Island. Very reasonably priced too. Without any intent to be negative about the café, you would not come here unless you otherwise planned on visiting Garden Island.

Of course, there is nothing stopping you merging both options above by buying something in the café and eating it anywhere you like within the Garden Island Public Access Precinct (except in the museum itself).

Getting to Garden Island/ RAN Heritage Centre

Garden Island is an active naval base and public access is only permitted to the Garden Island Public Access Precinct on the north tip of the island. Unless you are on a bus tour, access is only permitted via Sydney Ferries using the Circular Quay to Watson’s Bay route. Ferries stop at the Garden Island Wharf during RAN Heritage Centre opening hours only and you must leave the island by the last ferry each day (around 4pm). The RAN Heritage Centre is a short walk from the wharf.

Cafe Opening Hours

9:30am to 3:30pm daily except for New Years Day, Australia Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Eve.


This is my last SYDNEY – CITY – GARDEN ISLAND review.
For other Sydney reviews click HERE.


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