A visit to the abandoned village of Crater Cove

With winter receeding and the weather around Sydney starting to clear up. It is time for more adventure.

I had heard of Crater Cove around the traps, but never knew how to get there. It is a closely guarded secret, just like the little village it self.

The history of this place is pretty interesting. It was settled by locals seeking to have a quiet spot out of the rat race or a place to live like a hermit and this lasted from around 1920 up to the 1980s when the government got involved and kicked everyone off their land after the surrounding area was turned into a national park. Since then the place has been left abandoned, with the old locals lurking around to care take the area and shacks. Eventually the National Parks and Wild Life made an agreement with these people allowing them guardianship of the cove.

So to this day, original inhabitants and their families are still present in the cove. Making sure the place is up kept and well presented and hopefully scaring off all the wanker vandals who would destroy this beautiful place. But unfortunately for them, they are still not allowed to live there. So here we have a small, hermit village frozen in time on one the worlds most beautiful harbours.

Getting to the cove is a real hard task. There are no marked trails and if you figure out how to get there, you will have to slog through bush and ankle deep mud to get there. But once you arrive, the muddy trail turns to a sandstone paved path and you are led into the quiet little village that has sat there for so long.

When you clear the scrub at first, you are welcomed by a view over the water. You can see various shacks sticking out of the surrounding bush, but the majority are well hidden and secluded. The first off the track is probably the best thought. It sits directly on the clifftop, it’s built from wood, sandstone, bottles and various other parts that seem to have been washed ashore. I personally think it’s beautiful. Its low roof, outdoor sitting area and stone work are, well beautiful and relaxing. I didn’t want to leave and I could see myself setting up a home there and living like a hermit. It is really something special. The beating of the waves against the cliffs below, god. I want to go back and sit more.

Inside the shacks are a few odds and ends. But they are mostly empty except for warning signs, parks and wildlife uniforms and a few other knicknacks. Plus they are well locked up and local caretakers seem to hide and appear from nowhere. I was really surprised by how many people were around.

As we continued on we came across a few areas that have been constructed to harness the local fresh water that cascades from the hills above. These are also amazingly built with sandstone used to line the bottom and sides of the little creeks. Many extra pools are now hidden by the overgrown bushes but you can hear the soft sound of water trickling around the village.

The shack shown above was the second we came across and seems to be a caretakers cottage. It is well built, the door is a bit of wood working art. Washed up debris also decorate the cottage, thick sea worn ropes, buoys and hand made furtniture decorate the outside.

The image above shows the view the locals had. To the left is the northern head of Sydney harbour that houses the Quarantine Station. To the right is middle head and further along is Watsons Bay. The gap you see between the heads is the entrance/exit to Sydney Harbour.

The shack shown above is a real character. Strange angles, beautiful stone work and big windows to take in the epic view. I could imagine sitting at the table next to the window watching storms roll in.

The next cottage we visited is labelled the Town Hall. We could not see much but it seems this was the communal meeting spot with large doors and covered external area. It smelt old.

The final cottage we found was Simon’s. We could tell from the sign on the door that said “Simon’s”. This was another nice cottage with outdoor water tank (Which also seemed to have some sort of rudimentary hot water system that connected to the fireplace) and awesomely build chimney. We could peek in the windows on this one. The inside was a neat and well appointed cottage that seems to expect its owner back at any minute.

The little lost village is well worth a visit. I hope it lasts forever because it really is a special place.

 

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