“Were you scared?”
That’s the first thing people asked me when I told them where my husband and I spent our wedding anniversary night last week. (Twenty-seven years!)
At the last minute, we booked to stay the night at the hotel on the site of the old Quarantine Station North Head near Manly in Sydney. It’s a magnificent setting, right on the harbour in the middle of a National Park.
|What was once a Quarantine Station is now a quirky, lovely hotel in Sydney|
The Quarantine Station was established in the 1830s to prevent diseases such as typhus, plague and smallpox from reaching the main settlement of Sydney. Immigrant ships were stopped and passengers kept in strict quarantine in what, in effect, was a prison. The idyllic setting would have been cold comfort to the internees, many of whom never left there as they died from the disease they had contracted on the long journey from the Northern Hemisphere.
|Fabulous views from the old Quarantine Station - the Manly ferries |
pass each other on their way between Sydney and Manly
Over the years the Quarantine Station became like a town in itself—divided into first, second and third class accommodation to reflect the status of the ship’s passengers. It operated right up until the 1980s.
There are three cemeteries on the grounds. The buildings are reputed to be haunted by the ghosts of the poor souls who never left there to start their new lives in Sydney. Ghost tours have operated there for years.
|Victorian splendour in the former First Class Passengers lounge - now a guest lounge|
So were we scared? Not at all. The place has a sad history but is a beautiful part of Sydney’s heritage. The Q Station Hotel has taken over the historic buildings and everything has been done within strict heritage guidelines. Quirky and interesting it was a fabulous place to stay.
You don’t have to stay at the hotel to visit as it’s all part of a National Park. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Sydney. You can get there by road or by ferry.
In my March release Harlequin Romance Crown Prince’s Chosen Bride, Gemma and Tristan approach the area by boat and swim on the adjoining beach. It really is a gorgeous part of Sydney.
Have you ever stayed or visited anywhere with a creepy history? Or felt something scary in a historical place? Or like me, didn’t sense a thing! Please comment—I’d love to hear about it!