The boat turned back from the calm waters of the Gordon River into Macquaire Harbour and to the infamous Sarah Island. As I mentioned before – it turned out to be the perfect weather to visit such a place!!! It gave us a small glimpse of what the convicts endured during their time spent on this small, yet lethal penal station.
The wind had really whipped up, and it was blowing fiercely. We were not even allowed on deck until the boat had been tied up.
The ‘stage’ had been set for the horror and mystery stories of the colony to be re told by a local historian/actress.
Once we got past the wharf and behind the protection of the trees, all was calm. Remnants of buildings, oven and solitary cells.
Sarah Island is reportedly THE worst convict penal station in Australia! It housed the worst of the worst and it became an insidious life. The convicts would do anything; anything; including murder to escape this life of hell. Apparently, there were more escape attempts from this island than any other colony.
The site was chosen for its isolation and strong tidal currents, so convicts could not escape. Yet some did…and lived!
There is a lot of fascinating stories of murders, canabalism, escapes, drowning, boat building, bribery and corruption. It began its operation in 1822 and only lasted for 11 years. Yet it has left its mark in history.
Close by was Grummet Island, chained convicts were rowed to the island to work or sleep. At times waves would cover the island.